Bombay Sapphire Review
Walk in to any bar or pub in England, or perhaps anywhere in the world, and chances are that you will find the famous Bombay Sapphire light blue bottle lurking somewhere behind the bar.
Alongside Gordon’s, Bombay Sapphire is the house gin of choice for the majority of drinking establishments. It is a relatively light and somewhat inoffensive gin that will satisfy the needs of most people who ask for a gin and tonic any night of the week. It is by no means the most exciting gin but you can take it home to meet your mother and she won’t run screaming from the room.
Made from a vapour infused collaboration of ten botanicals from a 1761 recipe, Bombay Sapphire is one of the biggest selling brands in the world. You can pick up a bottle from virtually any supermarket or off licence and prices vary from around £16 to £22 (our advice is to never buy it above £20 and always buy a bottle at £16 if you can find it, and if you have some loose change rattling around in your pocket).
The botanicals used are conveniently displayed on the sides of the bottle and are stated as juniper, lemon peel, coriander seeds, angelica root, orris root, grains of paradise, cubeb berries, cassia bark, almonds, and liquorice.
The alcohol content is 40% which puts it at the gentler end of gins.
The bottle comes sealed with a metal screw cap and upon opening you can smell that it is gin. Juniper and a light alcohol emit from the neck.
Tasting Bombay Sapphire neat is an illuminating experience (I am not of the opinion that gin should be drunk neat; however, it is interesting to try a tiny sip of gins neat as it can give you a fuller appreciation of the flavours). I say illuminating because I find it quite floral, almost perfume like.
With tonic it is also very light. It does not have a heavy juniper taste which can make gins taste bitter. Clearly at 40% it is no big hitter like some gins that weigh in at around the 48% mark. Personally I find it all too easy to forget there is any alcohol in the glass at all and it becomes like an alcopop. I have found myself drinking two or three glasses quite quickly and that can get expensive both on the pocket and on the liver.
That aside, I do like Bombay Sapphire. I find it quite easy to pick out both liquorice and almond as subtle aftertastes and I enjoy the flavour. It is definitely a gin I will buy fairly regularly, as it is so easily drinkable and therefore a good choice for house guests who may not be quite ready for a more complex gin experience. Couple that with the ability to pick up a bottle for £16 and the fact that it is so light, and we have a very good staple gin to fall back on.
It is clear why this is a good choice as a house gin for drinking establishments; we say it is a good choice as a house gin for the home too. Let the guests enjoy the Bombay, while you quietly enjoy something a little more fancy.
Marks out of ten for
Taste 7/10 – A smooth gin but it does have a fairly strong liquorice aftertaste that not all will enjoy.
Price 8/10 – You can usually find it on offer somewhere for less than £20 for a 70cl bottle.
Availability 10/10 – Available pretty much everywhere.