Bombay Amber

bombay-amber-bottlePerhaps the best part of doing this new series of impressions is that I no longer have to hold back on sharing some tasting notes, just because I don’t have a full bottle of the gin. While I’d love to spend some time tasting Bombay Amber in a series of cocktails, it’s really just not plausible. That is unless I’m able to schedule a flight which connects/goes to Las Vegas, Toronto, Singapore, or Sydney. Though I’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling this year, those cities have eluded me. For now. Though I’ve got my eye on you Sydney.

I’ll spare you my thoughts on travel retail*, and get down to the gin.

In <100 Words

Take the standard Bombay Dry Gin [] botanical blend, and add smoky black cardamom, nutmeg, and the zest of a type of bitter orange. Could it be Seville? Myrtle Orange? Or maybe even Amara? My money is on Seville orange. It is then aged in oak barrels, which formerly held French Vermouth. The bottle is distinctive, unlike anything else, and as with Sapphire and East, it looks as if Bombay is pushing the envelope slightly further than it really is.

Impressions

The color is a lovely straw, perhaps a shade lighter than amber, but striking nonetheless. It is perhaps brighter and more golden than many of its peers in the aged gin space.

The nose is somewhat quieter than other Bombay brands; however, it is nice even so. There’s juniper as well as mildly exotic coriander, with some cinnamon and cassia peaking through in the low notes.

The palate begins quiet, with an appreciable smoothness as the flavor builds. Fresh cinnamon, quickly showing a more complex spiciness to it with minty, peppery notes showing through, as well as a touch of licorice. There’s a hint of oak/wood here on the mids to lows, with some carmelized orange rind, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg and mace on the finish, with a faint afterglow of oak and fermented fruit. Very pleasant, with appreciable complexity.

A worthy sipping gin, certainly. I can’t speak accurately to its use in cocktails, but one might expect it would work well in a Martini or Negroni. Though i’d gander with those already present vermouth notes, it might be more worth experimenting with in some less obvious cocktails.

Perhaps the next time I pass through one of those airports.

Vitals

Price: $45/ 750 mL
Proof: 94
Origin: 
 United Kingdom
Availability:  Toronto, Singapore, Sydney and Las Vegas’ major international airports.
Rating:  Though likely trying to be more of a status symbol than a widely appreciated gin, it’s a shame because Bombay, because of the reputation of its Bombay Sapphire brand, might just have the cache necessary to move Aged gin into the mainstream consciousness. It’s a good product, that unfortunately seems relegated to obscurity as a collector’s item.  [Rating:4/5]

*ugh.

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Readers' Reviews

Post last updated by Aaron

7 thoughts on “Bombay Amber

  • January 5, 2015by Jerry b

    Hi Arron I find
    That very interesting that Impresions is interesting it seem they are leaning toward a sipping gin. Are they suggesting that it should be aged as it has touched wood ? I am going to England and Irerland soon any obscure gin I should be looking for ? Thanks

  • January 5, 2015by AaronPost author

    It was intentionally left in barrels for a few months – to try and get an aged character. The barrel can do some interesting things, especially to some of the top notes, depending on the botanical.

    If you’re looking for something quintessentially Irish, there’s Cork Dry Gin, but by all accounts if you’re looking for something top notch- you might want to look elsewhere. Tarquin’s, Rock Rose, Pickerings’ and Dodd’s are a couple which come to mind immediately as good gins by reputation that aren’t available here. I just had some Pickering’s Gin and although I haven’t written about it (yet), I think it might be a really top notch gin.

    Safe travels!

  • February 17, 2015by anon

    After a week at the vacation home in LV my favourite part of flying home to frozen Canada is grabbing a bottle of unique stuff on the way through McCarran. Both of my last trips have ended with this bottle in my carry-on.

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  • October 4, 2015by James Lybrand

    It is fine with a lemon we have here in Australia called a Meyer lemon which is quite sweet but it no so good with ore tart Lemons. Limes not so good and I think it will pair nicely with a pink or red grapefruit. My only problem is not taking my full DF entitlement on coming back to Australia!! The Bombay East by contrast is very nice as a GT with lime to keep with the dryness of the spirit.

  • October 15, 2015by DTS

    Haha – I think we’ll always disagree about Travel Retail 😉

    I agree it’s a great gin and a real shame it was never fully released, I’m hopefully one day even if they have to change the bottle design.

    Interesting to see Beefeater Crown Jewel is coming back I wonder if any of the other distilleries – Tanqueray or Bombay will release an Overproof? Of course Plymouth already does.

  • October 15, 2015by AaronPost author

    I think they missed the boat, and amazingly the opportunity is still there! Especially with Burrough’s Reserve aiming for the top of the market. None of the big brands have really shot for the mid-range aged gin, and I think the BS Amber could hit it still. It’s an opportunity just waiting to be taken. (IMHO)

    Travel retail, pshaw.

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