Bombay Dry Gin

Bombay Dry Bottle

Today we’re going mainstream.


I know a lot of folks like to hear about craft gins, but I also know there’s been a lot of “what do you think about this gin,” where this is a gin that you can find on the shelf of every liquor store worth its salt from sea to shining sea on both sides of the Atlantic.

Today, we’re going to look at Bombay Dry Gin. You might know the name better from the Sapphire blend which was among the pioneers in putting all the botanicals clearly on the back of the bottle [something Bombay Dry does now also] and one of the first crossover gins designed to appeal to folks who don’t really dig the juniper forward gins of yore.

First and foremost, this is a gin of yore. Juniper forward, this is a gin that is classic in style though has a few flourishes to set it apart. Let’s get to the tasting notes, shall we?

Tasting Notes.
Neat we have lemon fresh and lots of juniper. Strongly gin like. The lemon notes seem to overwhelm and dominate the nose on this at the end. Pleasant. Smells a bit like it might skew Plymouth or at least a lemon forward version of a juniper-forward gin.

The palate has a nice three part flavor. At first, on the tip of your tongue, juniper hits you square in the palate. Nice and fresh. The middle has a nice build, a touch of a floral nature Orris Root/Cinnamon but not quite distinct as each individual note. Lemon quickly puts an end to that before giving way to a touch of heat, juniper in the back of the mouth with an ample amount of harsh alcohol heat. There is a touch of the “burning pine” sensation, which epitomizes some of the more widely available brands.

But why I think Bombay does good work is that the other botanicals help lend balance and it although it is strongly citrus and juniper forward, they never quite step out in the absence of other notes and counterpoints. It is a well grounded, well rounded Classic style gin. m

In a gin and tonic, it masquerades as a plain juniper/lemon gin. Mostly classic notes coming through, nothing too unique. Although I think it goes quite well with tonic, the quinine offering a nice counterpoint to the initial juniper forward notes.

I found the earthy counterpoints, the almond and warm creamy buttery notes to be emphasized in a Martini. Nice, especially if you take the 4:1 approach on the Vermouth. I fear that the harsh closing notes experienced neat become a bit powerful in a less balanced Martini. Folks, this is why if you’re going to judge a gin for its use in a cocktail, you should judge it in the cocktail. A Vermouth rinse leaves hardly any herbal notes to offset and harmonize with the gin. If you’ve ruled out this [or maybe any gin] gin based on a Martini made in the 10+:1, rinse, or Churchhill variations, I suggest giving them a second shot in a well made drink. It may surprise you.

The Gimlet underwhelmed me, Bombay Dry Gin didn’t quite standout as expected; the lime covering key notes in the gin. I found the Negroni to be good as well. Not exotic though in the least. Juniper and citrus coming out. Overall, it was a solid classic drink.

Price: $20 / 750 mL
Origin: [flag code=”UK” size=”16″ text=”no”] United Kingdom
Best consumed: 
 Good gin and tonic, martini and Negroni. A good classic style gin that brings classic style notes.
Availability: Pretty much anywhere that sells gin.
Rating: A classic style gin with personality and nuance. It has a lot of character, but for those who want a more traditional style gin than the more popular Bombay Sapphire, this is the way to go. 


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Readers' Reviews

Last updated August 7th, 2013 by Aaron

7 thoughts on “Bombay Dry Gin

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  • December 3, 2014by Russell R. Miller

    You gin drinkers might like to read Death of a Spymaster. The main spy guy drinks Bombay gin. The book is good too.

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  • February 21, 2015by Kirk

    Why can’t I find regular Bombay gin? Did they stop making it? Is the Bombay Sapphire all they make now? I hope not!

  • September 12, 2015by Doug Fishback (@DEFishback)

    For a savory Martini, I like Bombay London Dry 4:1 with good old Martini & Rossi vermouth. For a cleaner but still very flavorful Martini, try Fords 4:1 with Vya.

  • October 30, 2015by Kuno

    My first time drinking was the original bombay which was two weeks ago, so yes they still sell it…ask for the red bombay which is the original. So they wont give you sapphire

  • July 8, 2017by Anonymous

    Bombay “Red”, (as i call it) is unique in that it has an unusual proofing … 86 … rare indeed in the world of Gin

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