Take your Bombay Sapphire and give it an “Eastern” spin and, boom, you’ve got Bombay Sapphire East. From the ingredients list, you might think BSE is a far different beast than its progenitor. Take a look: lemongrass, black peppercorns, lemon peel, liquorice root, almonds, angelica root, coriander, cassia bark, cubeb berries, grains of paradise, juniper berries, and orris root. Sounds exhausting — but only two of those ingredients are unique to Bombay Sapphire East. Lemongrass and black peppercorns are the new additions. The rest are all part of “off the rack” Sapphire.
In tasting Bombay Sapphire East, I’m hard pressed to find anything specific that sets this gin apart from standard Sapphire. East merely ups two flavors that Bombay Sapphire already has in lemon peel and cubeb (a pepper relative). Of those, only the lemon is particularly notable: BSE is still fruitier than most gins, with a much lesser juniper tone, and an herbal, warming finish. What it doesn’t particularly exude is anything from “the east” — it’s not especially spicy or peppery, there’s no saffron, turmeric or cumin, and even the coriander (a staple of eastern cooking) is restrained.
What it is, however, is a pretty good gin. If you like Sapphire, you’ll like this one too.
A- / $37 (one liter bottle) / bombaysapphire.com