Bombay Sapphire

  • Rating: 8
  • Value: 8

A fairly restrained but flavorful London Dry type of gin but with more citrus and less juniper

Notes: Bombay Sapphire is probably one of the most recognized London Dry Gin brands out there (along with Tanqueray, Beefeaters, Boodles etc.,) in the US and world markets. A relatively new brand ( launched in 1987) it is a line extension of the original  Bombay Original Dry with a recipe based on a recipe from 1761.Made in an original Carter Head Still the botanicals are steamed by the alcohol and their essential oils and flavors are carried upwards witt the alcohol to be condensed and eventually bottled The main difference between this, the Blue Sapphire Gin and the Bombay Original   is the addition of two more botanicals (grains of paradise and cubeb berries). The gin itself we should point out, is clear – only the bottle is colored. If you want a blue colored gin ( colored with Iris Flowers) we would suggest Magellan Gin by Pierre Ferrand.

Appearance: Clear, silvery appearance.On swirling it leaves a light coat with numerous droplets/tears forming on edge line

First Impression: Somewhat understated juniper with lots of citrus and herbal content with the juniper more in the background than foreground. Spicy, citrusy quite aromatic.

Taste: Nice oily entry, slightly sweet with a lot of citrus and spice and a somewhat understated juniper, lots of citrus, cinnamon with touches of almond and angelica backing up the juniper, and the cubeb coriander and orris giving the gin some nice bones to it.Th grains of paradise give it a nice peppery aftertaste/fade anchored by the cassia bark and hints of licorice aromatize towards the end.

Drinks: The martini of course, in which it does admirably, even if Plymouth Gin may be the original gin used in the modern martini as we know it, for those who prefer a somewhat different style of a London dry gin Sapphire is a good choice. Sapphire also works well in a Collins, Gin and Tonic, Ramos Gin Fizz, Last Word and just about every other cocktail calling for a London dry gin that we tried without as heavy a pinch of juniper as some of the more traditional ones.

Bottle: Clear sapphire blue bottle, square sided with clipped or rounded edges and arch like side panels that leads to a sloped and short neck with a drier blue screw cap closure with a seal tape  in a medal  type format that says ”   imported” and has the signature sapphire at the bottom of it. Front and back of bottle have white paper labels with attractive graphics with multiple fonts and colors on the front designed to convey the venerableness of the brand. Back label has a short story of the brand and the side panels have the laser (?) engraved drawings of each ingredient and the area where it came from. Altogether an attractive and distinctive package that can be spotted at a distance on any bar or shelf,

Other: There are two other versions of Bombay ou there at present , the Bombay Sapphire East ( an new gin with the addition of lemongrass and black pepper in addition to Sapphires usual 10) and Bombay Original Dry, and older more traditional juniper forward London Dry Gin

Final Thoughts: While not my absolute favorite brand of gin, it is of excellent quality and widely available – two important points that make it highly successful and one of the dominant gins in the market. For someone seeking a less juniper forward but still a London Dry type of gin ( as opposed to a New World gin – which can go even further afield from a juniper centric London Dry) this is an excellent and easy to find alternative.


Well done website with a fair amount of information.

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