The first thing to know is that Bombay Sapphire will be producing very few bottles of Star of Bombay at any given time. With good reason. Because, in order to create such a high-end spirit, it involves not only a very long, particular process but also virtuosic attention to detail.
In operation for almost three and half centuries, the gin stills of distilling pioneer Thomas Dakin are the stuff of legend. Which is why, when the stills first became ensconced at the Laverstoke Mill in Hampershire, England, it was quite the watershed moment for Bombay Sapphire – one which inspired Master Distiller Nik Fordham to consider an inspired new variation on Dakin’s original 1761 recipe.
Joining forces with Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti, he took Bombay Sapphire’s existing signature botanicals – Juniper, Coriander, Lemon Peel, Orris, Angelica, Cubeb Berries, Grains of Paradise, Almonds, Liquorice and Cassia Bark – and elevated them by introducing two new hand-selected botanicals: gently dried Bergamot Orange Peel, sourced from the Calabrian mountains – which lends a hint of spicy citrus – and aromatic Ecuadorian Ambrette Seeds – that give a floral muskiness.
Unlike other gins – who sometimes crudely boil their botanicals – all the flavour notes in Star of Bombay are slowly vapour-infused through a copper basket, under carefully controlled temperatures and then meticulously tested to ensure each essence is perfectly captured.
The result is a gin like no other. Boasting a bottling strength of 47.5 % ABV, it is a trulyelegant spirit, one alive with bright, fresh aromas. As Master Distiller Nik Fordham puts it, “Star of Bombay possesses an extraordinarily smooth and supple character, making it feel more like an aged spirit in the mouth – which is why it can be drunk neat over ice. That’s quite rare for a gin.”
Rare, indeed. It’s perhaps also why the attention to detail that has gone into producing Star of Bombay has also been extended to the bottle’s beautiful multi-faceted slim-tapered design, a collector’s item in itself.
Star of Bombay is more than a beautiful gin. It is an example of the finest alchemy at work.