Bombay Dry Gin

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Bombay Dry Gin, similar to its more famous sister Bombay Sapphire, is distilled from a base of grain and imparts the botanicals through vapor infusion.

Bombay Dry Gin is based on a recipe that traces its origins back to the middle 18th century. However, the product itself actually launched in 1960.

The botanical blend is rather traditional and unsurprising— it is after all based on what would have been widely and easily available on the British market in the 1760’s. It includes almond, licorice, coriander, lemon, cassia, angelica, orris root and juniper sources from Saxony.

Tasting Notes

The nose of Bombay Dry Gin is soft. There’s a touch of angelica rounding out then mild juniper with a pine and herbaceous facet. Citrus and a hint of gently piquant cinnamon provide lift. Bombay Sapphire Gin is quite classic with a pleasant roundness and accessible aroma.

The palate is quite creamy. Bombay Dry Gin has an almost vanilla sweetness, reminiscent of gins that begin from a base of wheat— especially red winter wheat. Bitter lemon pith, creamy angelica stalk, and juniper early. Towards the finish juniper melds into soft baking spice notes. Licorice provides a subtle roundness while other sometimes intense botanicals like coriander and cassia fade into the background, barely perceptible.


Bombay Dry Gin is an almost platonic gin. It works well in nearly all applications and a bartender can pour it indiscriminately into any cocktail and have classic-style gin juniper and citrus character come through.

This is a great gin for a simple Gin and Tonic, but it also shines in cocktails like the Martini or Gimlet. Those looking for something bold and juniper-forward may find it’s a tad subtle for bold cocktails like a Negroni.

Overall, Bombay Dry Gin

I sometimes feel as this is one of the most consistently excellent classic, London Dry process gins on the market— that goes somewhat unheralded when people ask “what’s the best classic gin.” While less famous than Bombay Sapphire, those looking for something more juniper-forward should look towards Bombay Dry Gin.

Highly Recommended in its category. 



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23 thoughts on “Bombay Dry Gin”

  1. Is it OK to give this Bombay Dry 5 stars plus if I gave the Sapphire 5 stars? Sure. Sapphire as a modern gin is a keeper not simply a “gateway gin” IMO and for me a 5 star modern gin. But this more traditional London dry inspired me to try out the old 50:50 martini with both the Dry and Sapphire…and wow on all accounts. Thank you, Derek Brown. As an aside it nudged me towards that 2 parts 1/2 part dry vermouth vodka martini as well (with Finlandia rediscovered). Angostura orange bitters always. Stuck on Bombay? Yeah, baby! Like Blues on Muddy Waters! For an old rounder London Dry (and if you have read Plato and Aristotle). Yes! This stuff on the rocks, in Gin Bucks, Gin and Tonics or Martins? Yes. BTW don’t make the Negroni a litmus test for any gin IMO…this regular Bombay Dry inspired me also to get The Savoy Cocktail Book. Not kidding. So nuanced in some ways its makes it necessary to keep one bottle of juniper- blasting Tanqueray around…

  2. This has been my liquor of choice for multiple years. To me, it is much smoother than Beefeaters which is its main competitor in price. Given the price difference between it and the Bombay Sapphire, the taste of Dry and price value makes it preferable to the sapphire.

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

  4. 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

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

  6. I have been drinking the Original Bombay Dry Gin now for over 30 years. Can’t find it in the stores anymore. As has been asked, “have they quite making it”?.

  7. A holiday taste test was recently conducted among our friends. Many gin buffs cannot tell the difference between Bombay dry beefeater and tanqueray (7 of 9 anyway)

  8. Having loved Bombay Sapphire, I’m so disappointed with Bombay Dry. I did not find its wood taste in the least inviting. I love wood, work wood, turn wood, carve wood – no way do I want to drink it!Frank1

  9. I still have no problem finding London Dry in my local liquor stores, but I am always disappointed when a restaurant only carries Sapphire.

  10. I always avoided Bombay Dry because I didn’t like Sapphire. Based on your review, I bought a bottle to replace my Boodles. To me it’s an excellent all purpose gin. Very good in Martinis with a substantial amount of Dolin Dry (3:1, 2:1 and 50/50).

  11. Sorry, but all the Bombay gins taste chemical to me. Bombay also gives the worst hangover of any gin. Maybe it’s the vapor infusion?

    I’d rather drink bottom shelf plastic handle gins than any Bombay.

  12. I’ve been drinking it on the rocks, with a couple of olives since 1970 when a friend (obviously.a good friend) said try this. I think you got it right with your final comment. “One of The most consistently excellent classic,London dry processed gins on the market”

  13. It’s excellent, truly. But I miss the bite of hotter, more juniper forward gins in Bombay Dry. I know Gordon’s isn’t exactly loved in snobbish circles, but I enjoy its dry grit more as a mixer. On ice, Bombay Dry wins. In a cocktail or highball, I find Beefeater or Gordon’s a little, and only a little, better.

  14. This is a nice Gin. The most common description I hear is smooth as it lacks some of the Juniper bite that you get in some of the more mainstream London Drys. Just really easy to drink and has a pleasant finish.

  15. Nice details on the flavors.

    By far the best gin.

    The blue-bottle is nice, but to sit down with a glass of gin (up or rocks), Bombay Dry has no comparables.

    Too many Flavored items on the market……….kids’ stuff.

    Want a classic, want pure gin……………….this is it.

    Thanks for your comments.

  16. I enjoy almost all spirits, and try not to tie myself to one particular drink. Every spirit, be it gin, vodka, bourbon, rye, scotch, Irish, etc. has brands that give us all a nice variety of flavor profiles. Over time, I have developed my favorites, and they are exactly that- MY favorites. Bombay Red Cap London Dry Gin has been a favorite of mine for 25 years. I have friends that are snobs and will only drink certain brands, and refuse to try others. About 10 years ago I had about 6 gin drinking friends (male and female) and had a blind taste test with them. I used all of their favorites (and mine) which were Bombay Red Cap, Bombay Sapphire, Tanquerey, Beefeaters, and Hendricks. I was the only Red Cap drinker, but it was the unanimous first choice. Needless to say there were many surprised faces. I still drink a variety of spirits, but my gin choice remains Bombay Red Cap London Dry gin!