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Review

Bombay Amber Gin

Distillery

Made by G & J Greenall International, Risley, Warrington, England, UK on behalf of Bombay Spirits Co. Ltd. (Bacardi Ltd).

Website

G & J Greenall, Bacardi Ltd. and Bombay Sapphire.

History

Established back in 1761, Greenall’s are the oldest continuously producing London Dry Gin distillery in the world. Thomas Dakin built the distillery initially, Edward Greenall started using it and in 1870 it was purchased completely (The G&J comes from Edward’s younger brothers – Gilbert & John). The previous chairman, Lord Daresbury, was a direct descendent of Edward Greenall. The family motto “Alto Peto” translates as "I Strive Higher". This once cottage based industry is now the second largest gin distillery in Britain, producing over 50% of the UK’s Gin and almost 15% of the world’s Gin. In 2011 the business was bought by Quintessential Brands.

Barcardi was founded in 1862 by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in Cuba and today is run by Facundo L. Bacardi, since 2005. He is the great-great grandson of the company’s founder and a fifth generation family member. Famous for their white colored Barcardi Rum they have gone from strength to strength (despite having had their production plant illegally confiscated by the Cuban government in 1960) and have grown by acquisition across the years.

Barcardi is the third largest spirits company in the world, as well as the world's largest, privately held Spirits Company. The company sells over 200 brands, in more than 150 global markets and operates 27 production facilities - for bottling, distilling and manufacturing - in 16 countries. It is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Bombay was originally created by Thomas Dakin back in 1761 and called Warrington Gin. In the 1950’s it was relaunched and renamed Bombay Dry Gin by Alain Subin. In the 1980’s Michel Roux experimented with the recipe to create Bombay Sapphire, and Bombay Dry became known as Bombay Original. Bombay Sapphire was launched in 1987 and was acquired by Bacardi in 1998 (along with Dewar’s Whisky and Bombay Original Gin). This is, or close to, the best selling Gin brand in the world. With availability in over 120 countries, it is readily recognisable, and has become a modern icon.

This uses the original Bombay Gin, before being rested in wooden casks, and was launched in spring 2014.

Production

This base Gin, Bombay Original, has been made the same way since 1761, with eight botanicals being vapor infused during the final distillation, using rare Carterhead stills. The Bombay Original Gin is rested for an undisclosed time period in ex-vermouth barrels from France. Given Bacardi own the French Vermouth brand Noilly Prat, it seems likely their barrels are used to age this Gin.

Bacardi are moving the production of Bombay in-house and are currently establishing facilities in the village of Laverstoke, Hampshire, UK for this express purpose. Laverstoke Mill is set to open on 1st October 2014 and the distillery will include a visitors centre with tours, bar, café and shop. Obviously we are disappointed for Greenall’s loss but also excited and impatient to visit Bombay’s new home. Nik Fordham, previously at Chivas Brothers (Beefeater Gin), has been appointed Master Distiller for Bombay at Laverstoke. A digitally produced tour of Laverstoke Mill can be seen on YouTube plus further details can be found on the Laverstoke Mill website

The Gin is presented in a unique arch-shaped bottle with a wooden top and brushed chrome encasing the frosted glass through which the amber colored spirit can be seen.

Category

Barrel Aged Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

47% (94 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$ - $$$$$. This has limited availability with Bombay seeking to gently introduce consumers to the spirit. Their approach has been to launch the Gin in duty free travel retail airport locations. These world locations have included Changi Singapore and Sydney Australia with Heathrow UK, Las Vegas USA and Toronto Canada to follow.

If these locations are not easily accessible for you, Bombay Amber can be purchased from Vinesprit in France but only for shipping within the EU – expect to pay twice the price and then add shipping costs! It is anticipated we will see wider distribution in 2015 increasing availability for us all – let’s hope so!

Botanicals

Made using the classic 8 botanicals of Bombay Original plus 3 new ones, marked with an asterisk: almond (Spain), angelica root (Saxony), cardamom* (toasted, black), cassia bark (Indo-China), coriander seeds (Morocco), juniper berries (Italy), lemon peel (Spain), liquorice (China), nutmeg*, orange peel* (bitter) and orris root (Italy).

Name

Named after the base of Bombay Original Gin and the Amber color it achieves after barrel resting.

Tasting Notes

Unfortunately we have yet to try this Gin but understand, according to Bombay, it is smooth with warm orange, subtle nutmeg spice, a little earthiness and a hint of smokiness. It can be drunk neat and unlike many cask aged Gins it works in the classic G&T and Martini but woks even better in a Negroni – or so we hear. Check out the very good review of this at Summer Fruit Cup, by the Gin aficionado David T Smith.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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