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Star of Bombay gin launches in travel retail

Bacardi has introduced Star of Bombay, a super premium gin from Bombay Sapphire. The new gin elevates the complexity and smoothness of Bombay Sapphire through the addition of two extra botanicals and the use of a single batch, slow distillation method.

Star of Bombay launches in global travel retail starting with Heinemann in Sydney airport later this month.

Mike Birch, managing director Bacardi Global Travel Retail comments: “Gin is one of the ‘hottest’ categories in travel retail, however there is a large opportunity to further premiumise it. With Bombay Sapphire as category leader, we can unlock this potential with a super premium gin like Star of Bombay.

“Star of Bombay is a stunning innovation, a beautiful enhancement of the iconic Bombay Sapphire bottle, making it perfect for gifting and attracting new consumers into gin.  Travel retail is leading the launch of Star of Bombay including a first-launch with Heinemann in locations including Sydney airport, Frankfurt and Copenhagen, before rolling out globally.’’

Produced in small quantities entirely at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England, master distiller Nikolas Fordham was inspired when the Dakin stills were safely housed within the Mill in 2014 and watched them craft the Bombay spirit once again. Fordham wanted to open up a new chapter in the brand’s history and create a new expression of the gin’s signature style, yet with a distinctive, intriguing character of its own.  He worked with Ivano Tonutti, master of botanicals for Bombay Sapphire, to search the world for new botanicals that could play in harmony with the brand’s original 1761 recipe.

The recipe for Star of Bombay begins with the ten botanicals that lie at the heart of all Bombay Sapphire gins: juniper, coriander, lemon peel, orris root, angelica, almonds, liquorice, cassia bark, cubeb berries and grains of paradise.  It is then elevated with the addition of two new botanicals; gently dried bergamot orange peel, sourced from the mountains of Calabria in southern Italy, and beautifully aromatic ambrette seed, sourced from Ecuador in South America.

Ivano Tonutti explains: “The idea with Star of Bombay was to create a gin with an increased perception of the Bombay top-note aromatics.  It is possible to simply add new botanicals to a gin and bring a ‘note’ of their character over the spirit, but this is not the style of Bombay.  We vapour infuse our botanicals.  Painstaking flavour trials had to be made to achieve the precise quantities and qualities that could interact with all the other botanicals and integrate into the heart of the gin.  It is this perfect balance that we aim for.”

In addition to the added botanicals, the elegant liquid captured in each bottle of Star of Bombay is achieved through a slowed rate of the vapour infusion distillation process.  Through carefully controlled temperature and vapour flows, the extraction level of the botanicals is heightened to build a richer aroma and more intense flavour in the liquid.

The bottling strength of Star of Bombay is 47.5% ABV.  The high strength is chosen to emphasise the elevated aromatics and helps to underpin the spirits overall balance and harmony.  Due to the slow distillation method used, exceptional smoothness is maintained, so the higher alcohol is not felt aggressive in any way.

To reflect the more premium expression of the gin inside, the Star of Bombay bottle elevates the existing features of the brand, including the concentric facets, which convey the depth and complexity of the spirit.  The bottle is taller, slimmer and has a slight taper to the structure, allowing it to sit proudly and boldly on shelf next to its competitors in the super premium offering.

Star of Bombay adds to the existing portfolio of Bombay Sapphire, Bombay Sapphire East and Bombay Dry. It is the first addition to the range of gins to be created at the newly restored Laverstoke Mill, which opened in October 2014.

Star of Bombay is available in 1 litre bottles priced at AUD$66. 



13 April 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, edior