Bombay Sapphire East is a twist on the original Bombay Sapphire Gin. The main difference here is the addition of two more botanicals — Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorns — to the 10 botanicals already present in Sapphire. The gin first launched in 2011, with more widespread availability in late 2012. It made its way across our desk this week, so let’s take it for a spin.
On the nose, Bombay Sapphire East is full of lemon, juniper and black pepper with some floral undertones. Take a sip, and you’ll get a soft entry that’s predominantly lemon peels and pepper alongside hints of spicy coriander and flowery orris. Nothing here tastes particularly Eastern/Asian, as the fruity notes are more lemon than lemongrass. The pepper is very notable though, lasting all the way through to the warm, dry finish.
Tasting this side-by-side with the original Bombay Sapphire doesn’t yield too many prominent differences, apart from the pepper. Overall though, it’s a very solid gin, and a good representation of softer-style gins that rely less on juniper and more on other botanicals. Plus, it seems to do a little something extra to a gin and tonic, and that’s great news as we approach summer.
– 42% ABV
– $23 for a 750ml bottle
CE Rating: ★★★