I'm surprised and honored to be the first Epinions user to have the opportunity to review Boodles Gin. Boodles is a classic and superior English gin that is only comparable to Bombay in quality. Regular Bombay -- not the "Sapphire" which sacrifices the herbal qualities in favor of higher alcohol -- but that's another Epinion.
Recommend this product?
I suppose the lack of attention to Boodles Gin might be explained by the header: "Cock, Russel, & Co." and the odd picture that looks like something found in a laboratory rather than a bar or restaurant. Boodles Gin is immediately recognisable by its distinctive bottle (not pictured here) and is affectionately known simply as Boodles by its leigion of fans.
Distinctions between Boodles and Bombay are ephemeral, but drawn along the lines of the finish and the herbal notes. The juniper in Bombay, for instance, is more up front and in your face; Boodle juniper is more subtle. To make an analogy, the herbal notes of Bombay note are more percussive; Boodles is more melodic. Bombay is more festive; Boodles is more conservative.
If one is not familair with the distinction between Boodles and Bombay, I suggest doing a taste test. Pour a little of each in two brandy glasses. The brandy glasses will allow you to smell the two titans of gin better. After smelling the two, take a vaporous sip -- just enough to wet your tongue -- not a big swallow. Between each "flavor" (Boodles & Bombay) have a cracker and a sip of water. Then come back for a bigger mouthful of each, cleansing your palette between tastes. Finally, add a spritz of tonic to each and discover the differences between Boodles and Bombay when mixed with tonic.
When it comes down to it, should you buy Boodles or Bombay? It probably depends on three things; your mood, the ocassion and the foods you might be serving with it. Spicier and more pungent foods will probably go better with Bombay. Boodles is more suitable to lighter fare. Boodles for a business meeting, Bombay for brunch or baccanale.
Overall, I've come to prefer the Boodles. It's got a cleaner and smoother finish on the tongue. For some reason, it seems to me to be a healthier choice (although I've got no medical evidence to support this thought).
If you prefer a more pungent juniper flavor, try floating a freshly picked juniper berry in your martini or straight up Boodles.
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