This is Walk the Line: a series where I explore the entire product lines of the most popular liquor brands together with a panel of friends and tasters. Click here to view the entire Walk the Line series.
Bombay distills premium, modern gins using “vapor infusing,” which leads to a softer tasting gin overall.
Bombay London Dry. Bombay Dry was first introduced in 1959 and it has 8 botanicals that lead to a classic London Dry flavor with a touch of spice in the finish. Tasters who prefer classic London Drys liked the flavor of Bombay Dry, saying that it’s a good gin overall. Though not as widespread as the iconic Bombay Sapphire, Bombay London Dry can be found for $21 a bottle.
Bombay Sapphire. Bombay Sapphire arrived in 1987 in a distinctive square blue bottle with the botanicals etched into the sides. Sapphire takes the recipe of 8 from the original Bombay Dry and adds cubeb berries and grains of paradise for a total of 10 botanicals. Tasters found Sapphire to be an extremely balanced gin, with flavors of lemon and berries, a touch of spice, and a long, lingering taste on the tongue. Sapphire is a bit sweeter than other London Drys and gin’s typical piney flavor is more subdued. At about $23 a bottle, Bombay Sapphire is extremely popular, and has a mild, fruity, soft profile overall.
Bombay Sapphire East. In 2012, Sapphire East was introduced with 12 botanicals, adding lemongrass and black peppercorns to the existing Sapphire infusion. At $30 a bottle, Sapphire East is mostly peppery, and the flavor is less balanced than Sapphire as the two new ingredients are the primary flavors. Initially tasting like Bombay Sapphire, followed by a peppery licorice bite, Bombay Sapphire East finishes fast and cool with a faint trace of sweetness.