Gin has often had a recessive role in my liquor and cocktail collection. This is reflected in the selection most liquor stores offer. Were it not for a nearby Total Wine, my choices would be limited to the staple brands. But they're about as good of a place to start as any, and what better way to begin than with a brand whose bottle certainly makes a first impression.
Featuring a lovely, light blue bottle, Bombay Sapphire offers no shortage of pleasing aesthetics. The "ten exotic botanicals" are split and engraved along the left and right sides of the bottle, hailing from Italy, Spain, China, West Africa and more. It all looks impressive and pristine, but how is the actual product?
The seemingly hot spirit (47% ABV) possesses a very floral nose; juniper, dried lemons and traces of roots blend together seamlessly. In the mouth, Bombay Sapphire comes forward with mild herbs that feel lightly tantalizing. Its high alcoholic content is most evident on the throat, where the faintest trace of almond ultimately yields to various roots and lemon peel. Completing the experience is a distinctively dry finish that, though parching, also has a fresh air to it.
Bombay's stake in the market for a relatively niche spirit is as understandable as it is apparent. You can tell this is a product made with care. Even to my inexperienced tongue, this feels like a reasonable gin to start with. All that remains is to see how well it will fare in the future.
Where I Bought It: Total Wine
Question of the Day: What do you consider the quintessential gin brand?