When I first started off with my G&T Sundays, I figured that I would rate just 1 tonic with a gin each Sunday. That would give me 52/4 = 13 gins tested. I soon realised that a) there are far more gins than that and b) my posts would become quite boring after a while (if not already). So I switched to testing 4 tonic waters each Sunday which would subsequently give me 52 * 4 = 208 G&T combinations. Admittedly, I couldn’t get through each session anywhere near sober so I had to skip quite a few Sundays. It takes good planning and preparation to execute such a tasting!
Today I decided to complete the Bombay Sapphire tasting. Since I already made a review of the spirit itself and of the combination with Fever Tree, I only had to try it with 1724, Thomas Henry and Fentiman’s. But I threw in a bottle of Fever Tree just to see if I got it right the first time (spoiler alert: I did, so I just copied the previous text)
Since my tasting with Bombay Sapphire early March, I’ve learned about so many new gins that I was curious on how I would rate this gin now. It’s easy of course to say that it’s mainstream, almost a vodka or just plain boring. But when you put it in historical perspective it’s far from boring. Mainstream: up to a certain level, yes, but thanks to this brand we have been enjoying the revival of gin. Almost a vodka: not at all. Compared to a lot of gins it would be tempting to say so but to me there’s still so many great flavours in Bombay Sapphire, that saying this doesn’t do any justice at all. And we all know that gins basically are flavoured vodka’s anyway. Boring: it does what it was meant to be doing from the very first start: get those vodka-people on board of the Gin-train. Of course time has kept up with the flavour of Bombay Sapphire with all these new gins that have been launched over the years. But if that makes Bombay Sapphire mainstream, than we’re all in a very good place!
Now on to the important part: the tasting.
1724: The nose is very fresh, with light juniper and some orange. A slight and lovely bitterness comes in when I started sipping and it has a sweet body. A long aftertaste with fresh notes which is slightly spicy follows. A great mix. The only thing is that it’s a bit too perfect, too easy. This combination just lacks that extra bit of excitement, but these two match very well.
Fever Tree: The nice thing is that together these products become a very interesting mix, complementing each other nicely. Because the juniper is not so heavy in Bombay Sapphire, the upper tones in flavour are those of citrus, coming from the coriander and lemon in Bombay and also from the tonic itself. The bitter elements in Fever Tree are still there, and the sweet notes in Bombay Sapphire, like cinnamon and liquorice balance it out quite nicely. The smell of the two combined is especially nice: the vapour distillation of the gin delivers a light-bodied spirit, but with a strong nose. Fever Tree is well carbonated, so these aromas reach your nose before you take a sip – an extra dimension to the taste.
Thomas Henry: Balance. That’s the first word that comes to mind. The bubble in this tonic is not too strong so the nose is more gentle with a fresh citrus aroma. The first sip brings a floury, slightly silty taste (must be Orris and Angelica) with little juniper. The middle of the taste is more sweet with liquorice and cassia and also here I get a bit of orange in the flavour. Aftertaste is pleasant and long with just a hunch of bitterness
Fentiman’s: This tonic water is obviously too much for the delicate bouquet of Bombay Sapphire. A very strong nose and overpowering citrus in Fentiman’s just blow it out of the water/glass, leaving not enough to make a happy couple .
Conclusion: Thomas Henry is for Bombay Sapphire the best companion: well balanced, never overpowering and complimentary where necessary. It’s not just a good combination, but a great G&T in itself so very much the worth of pouring for oneself!