Oriental Spiced London Dry Gin
Opihr Gin, pronounced o-peer, is one of my favourite gins. And I suspect quite a lot of other peoples’ too if my Instagram feed is anything to go by. Always partial to a gin with a spicy kick, this gin ticks all my boxes.
Opihr was created by Joanne Moore, Head Distiller at the G&J Distillery, in 2013. After five years the gin is still going strong. The oldest in England, founded in 1761, G&J is a heavyweight in gin distilling and its marketing team pack a powerful punch as evidenced by the quality of the bottling, the visually appealing labelling and the interactive website.
Named after a ‘legendary region famed for its wealth and riches, which prospered during the reign of King Solomon’, Opihr is fast becoming a legendary gin. And while the region’s location remains something of a mystery, thankfully Opihr Gin is more of a reality. Furthermore, a reality inspired by the ancient Spice Route from which it sources the majority of its botanicals.
A chunky little sumo wrestler of a bottle. The red and gold tassel around the neck sets it apart on the gin shelf. The turquoise back label map showing the spice trade route is a nice touch. As are the flashes of turquoise in the predominantly red labelling.
The label featuring decorated elephants is a nod to Kerala where the Tellicherry black pepper botanical comes from. Most Hindu temples in Kerala own elephants. They are venerated in India and are regarded as sacred. There is even an annual Elephant Festival in Jaipur which celebrates this most regal of animals.
The stopper releases with a weighty thud, appropriate for its shape (and labelling).
Spicy, almost sherbety fragrance. Following on there is juniper, black pepper, spice and the sweet perfume of cardamom.
Medium body, spicy and with a slightly sour hint due to the cubeb. Juniper holds its own and isn’t submerged by the cubeb or Tellicherry black pepper. Thankfully the coriander is quite submissive, which I like. Cardamom is there but I can’t fathom the cumin at all. At the finish, there is a long peppery spicy note.
Premium Indian tonic works best with this gin, ratio 1:2. Try a lime wheel and fresh red chilli slice for a real kick to your serve if you are feeling brave.
London Essence Grapefruit and Rosemary tonic make for an interesting combination adding a tart fruitiness to the spicy mix.
For more information on this spicy gin take a trip on the Opihr spice route on their website.