Opihr gin is Spiced London Dry gin created by master distiller Joanne Moore who I recently met in London. Joanne is the custodian of Greenall’s gin recipe as well as the creator of Bloom Gin and Berkeley Square.
After finishing the interview I did with her (I’ll be sharing that at a later date!), she kindly did a private tasting of all her gins. It’s a pretty unique experience to taste gins with the person who creates them. Joanne describes herself as a ‘geeky scientist with a creative flair’ and that is very apparent.
Joanne told me that the idea for a spiced gin had been on her mind for a while. The brief was for her to create a gin inspired by “discovery and travel”. Joanne looked to the spice market for idea and explored lots of different botanicals before settling on the final 10.
Aside from juniper, coriander and angelica (Joanne uses these in all her gins), Opihr gin is distilled with cardamom, grapefruit, cumin, ginger, tellicherry black pepper, orange and cubeb.
When I asked about the botanicals she used in Opihr gin, Joanne explained that each one had a role to play, saying “There are none in there, that shouldn’t be!”. After tasting each of the botanical in separate distillates, I was intrigued to try the finished gin. With ginger and two types of pepper (plus cumin) I was anticipating a gin with a great deal of heat.
On tasting Ophir gin, juniper is obvious on the nose and the palate. The pine notes give way to fresh, bright citrus, before ending with a long warm spiced , that is subtle and delicious. It’s certainly not too spicy or overpowering.
I really liked this gin, so rushed off to buy a bottle on my return so I could write about it! Later I discovered that Opihr gin was the fastest growing super-premium gin 2013-2014 (Spirits Business 22 June 2015), which doesn’t surprise me at all.
Drinking Ophir Gin
Fabulous in a G&T using Fever-tree tonic water and garnished with a slice of ginger or orange.
Ophir Gin Negroni is a must! The spice notes work brilliantly with vermouth and Campari.
Country of Origin : UK
Wow. Ophir gin sounds great. Would love to try it. Will look out for it in our liquor stores in Cape Town.
Very envious you got to speak with Joanne Moore and will be looking forward to reading your interview. She is fast becoming one of the best distillers of Gin in the world as her track record bears great testament to.
My favorite choice of cocktail using Ophir is a Gimlet but I also understand this Gin works well when mixed with ginger ale.
how does this compare to Bombay Sapphire East? also claims to be an oriental spiced rum with black pepper and lemongrass.
would be a great review to see them compared. oh, I may have to go out and buy both to get ready for G&T season
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