Review: Bombay Sapphire East Gin

Review: Bombay Sapphire East Gin

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.

84 proof.

A- / $37 (one liter bottle) / [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

Bombay Sapphire East Gin




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Jeff on January 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I have always found Bombay to work best in martinis, but is less than satisfactory for gin and tonics (where usually Tanqueray performs rather well).

    Given your review, however, this sounds like it a Bombay gin that would make a good gin and tonic. Would you agree, Chris?

  2. Christian on March 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I don’t like the Bombay East as much in a Gin & Tonic, but it’s pretty amazing in cocktails where there pepper adds some interesting aromas, as in a basil smash.

  3. James Shepard on April 2, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Wife bought me this when I ran out of my usual Brokers Gin.
    What a delight. I especially like the pepper which dominates the gin to my palate. No doubt it is different and may not be for everyone, but I give this a solid 10 and is now my go to.

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