Reviewed By Claire Giles
As a avid gin drinker, and believe me I have drunk many different gins, I was pleased to be chosen to review Opihr London Dry Gin European Edition. I must admit that I typically prefer more traditional and sweet favoured gins so this was something different to my norm that I normally would not have chosen.
Opihr London Dry Gin European Edition is one of three regional edition gins from the Opihr gin range expressions. They are uniquely spiced flavoured gins taking you on the journey from East to West with exotic botanicals from the orient, The European Edition is distinctly flavoured marrying rich spices of the orient with fragrant myrrh and the discernible aromatic bitterness of cascarilla bark. It is a bold, savoury- led spiced gin with balanced bitter notes from Europe and the Orient.
My first impression on seeing the gin bottle was how beautiful the bottle looked. It had an expensive feel about it with the tassel around the neck of the bottle and how weighted the bottle felt. The bottom of the bottle was made with orange glass which gave it a two tone effect and the multicoloured / patterned elephants on the label gave it a real oriental feel. The name Opihr, pronounced o-peer, is a legendary region famed for its wealth and riches which prospered under the reign of King Soloman. The king regularly received cargoes of gold, silver and spices from Opihr and whilst its exact location remains a mystery it is thought to have been in the Orient along the ancient spice route. The name and the story behind it adds to the rich more expensive perception about the product.
On opening the bottle by releasing the plastic cork you are immediately hit with a smell of spices with an underlying citrus aroma. At 43% alc volume this gin has a high alcohol content. I decided to firstly try a small amount of the gin straight to really taste the flavours. On sipping a small amount it first has an almost citrus flavour and then you get the overpowering spice taste which lingers in your mouth. On reading the little information booklet that came fastened around the neck of the bottle it recommended the gin was best served as a Spiced Negroni cocktail which is not something I have tried before. This is made by mixing the gin with sweet vermouth and campari and garnish with orange peel. Unfortunately I did not have these spirits at home to make one. It also recommended trying it with tonic and a slice of orange or with ginger ale for a twist on the classic. I tried it with tonic and a slice of orange but found the spicy flavours of the gin was too overpowering and made it very bitter to drink. Mixing it with ginger ale definitely blended better with the spicy taste of the gin. I found that no matter what I mixed it with the spicy taste just overpowered it. I tried mixing it with other juices and pop and actually found that lemonade, orange juice or coke balanced / mellowed out the spicy flavour better.
This gin definitely is an acquired taste not for everyone and I imagine most people will either love it or hate it. For a classic gin lover like myself I simply found the spice flavour too overpowering but many people would like that. My husband who normally hates gin and prefers whiskey loved this gin. He especially enjoyed it straight over ice. It would be a nice winter warmer drink with all the spices. Unfortunately it was not a drink for me but my husband loved it so all down to personal taste rather than the drink itself. My husband said he would definitely buy it again even if I would not.
This product can be purchased from Sainsburys here