View Full Version : Difference between Bombay and Bombay Sapphire Gin?

01-20-2007, 17:18
I'm a gin drinker but have always drank the cheep stuff since I was mixing it (Gilbeys Gin). I wanted a bottle of better Gin so I went to pick up some Bombay and was wondering what the difference is between Bombay and Bombay Sapphire? I have searched the internet and can't find anything that states the difference between the two. Any help would be appreciated.


01-20-2007, 17:53
Gin is all about the aromatics. Sapphire has more different aromatic notes and all of them at greater intensity. I prefer it, but stepping up from something like Gilbey's you might want to start with the standard Bombay then, if you like that, try the Sapphire.

I prefer the Sapphire myself. That's pretty much my house gin.

01-21-2007, 08:10
I prefer the Sapphire myself. That's pretty much my house gin.

Mine too. Good stuff.
Joe :usflag:

01-21-2007, 08:38
I like both. The Sapphire is somewhat smoother and sweeter, but the standard Bombay is an excellent gin. Don't shy away from it.


01-21-2007, 15:44
The difference between the 2 is proof.....Sapphire is higher proof than the other

01-22-2007, 18:17
IMO Sapphire is much better than regular Bombay. I typically drink gin in a martini.

01-22-2007, 19:50
Chuck nailed it.

If you look at the side of each bottle, there is a list of the aromatics added to Sapphire vs. ordinary Bombay. Two additional aromatics, a couple of proof points, and a resulting greater intensity of aroma and flavor make Sapphire superior. However, I'd say you should try Bombay (or my favorite: Broker's) before the sapphire, as even ordinary Bombay will have significantly more character than Gilbey's.

01-22-2007, 20:09
I'm not a gin drinker but I haven't heard a bad word about Bombay sapphire from anyone who is a gin drinker. I know more than a few that were converted over from Tanqueray when the Sapphire came onto the market!


Grain Brain
01-31-2007, 18:17
The problem with Tanq is that it is so distinctive. I like my martinis with gin, and I like them to taste like gin. Tanq, to me, doesn't taste like gin - it tastes like Tanq. Sorry to be redundant, but I'm just trying to make a point.

Bombay Saphire, on the other hand, is an exquisite gin and makes an outstanding martini. I also really like Boothe's. And don't turn your nose up to Hendrick's until you've tried it. It's pretty awesome in its own right. I never thought I'd dig it, but curiosity got the better of me one night while at a bar and I finally caved and tried it in a martini. It was great.

I have on hand but have yet had the opportunity to try Junipero from Anchor Distilling. Perhaps this weekend.

03-21-2007, 21:46
I'm not a gin drinker but I haven't heard a bad word about Bombay sapphire from anyone who is a gin drinker. I know more than a few that were converted over from Tanqueray when the Sapphire came onto the market!


Alright, I'm going to go against the grain here.

The original Bombay gin is what I refer to as a "classic" London Dry, whereas the Sapphire is what I refer to as a "modern" London Dry.

The classic London Dry gins, like Beefeater, Bombay, Broker's, Boodle's, Miller's, etc. typically have a more earthy, more juniper-y taste.

The modern London Dry gins, like Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray 10, and Quintessential, are usually brighter, sweeter, and more citrus-y. The modern gins are also usually a slightly higher proof, and undergo an extra distillation.

Tanqueray, in my opinion, straddles the two styles, being not as earthy as the classics, nor as bright as the moderns.

Plymouth, of course, pre-dates all London Dry gins, and Hendrick's does their own thing.

If you are into the brighter, more citrusy taste, you may also want to check out Philadelphia Distilling Co's "Bluecoat" gin.

In my opinion, the moderns are generally overrated. They are nice for a little variety, but I find they rarely deserve the price premiums they command. What you're really paying for is the prettier bottle and multi-million dollar marketing/advertising campaign. :rolleyes:

I'll stick to my Boodle's martini with a twist, mixed 5:1, thank you very much.

03-22-2007, 15:52
I tend to agree. When I really want a satisfying gin drink, I usually tend to go for the standard Beefeater or Bombay.


03-22-2007, 15:57
Beefeater is really one of the great spirits of the world. Recently I had some after a hiatus of a few years (about 20).

It tasted just like I remember it back when. Steely, very dry, very big in taste.

It is one of the few great non-sweet spirits (if one excludes vodka).

A classic.


05-01-2007, 11:06
I think Sapphire tastes like lemonade. Bombay regular is a go-to gin for me, as is Millers.

Proof issues can be solved (in G&T's and the like) by storing your G&T gin in the freezer and using few ice cubes :).

05-01-2007, 17:01
I am far from an expert on Gin but when I order a Martini, I usually specify Bombay Sapphire. If they don't have any (which rarely occurs) I specify Beefeaters. I never use either in a G&T. There I use Seagram's Lime Twisted.
Joe :usflag:

05-08-2007, 23:24
I totally agree with boss302 about the "classic" vs "modern" styles.

I'll add that the Tanqueray 10 is maybe the most extreme of the modern styles, with very strong citrus notes and not dry and spicy like Beefeater.

The best gin will probably depend on whether you are mixing or using in a martini, and also how much vermouth you use in the martini (you might use more vermouth in a drier gin).

If you're making a gin and tonic, for example, I find that the Beefeater stands up best, with its caraway-like spiciness, while the more subtle Bombay Sapphire gets overpowered. And on the flip side, a martini with Beefeater (and little or no vermouth) will be a bit bracing; the subtleties of a Sapphire really shine there.

But back to the original question, I concur that the Sapphire is a more nuanced, while the regular Bombay is more dry. Both will make great martinis, but if I was buying for gin and tonic I'd go for regular Bombay. If not limited to those two I'd go with Beefeater.