Many readers will be familiar with Joanne Moore and the excellent work that she has done in creating the floral Bloom Gin and the herbal Berkeley Square. The latest installment in her gin range is spice-led, with Ophir Gin. This gin, like the others, is bottled at 40% ABV and features Juniper from Italy, Coriander from Morocco, Angelica from Germany, Orange from Spain, Grapefruit & Cumin from Turkey, Cardamom Ginger & Black Pepper from India and Cubebs from Indonesia.
On its own
Nose: Complex savoury spice: caraway, cardamom, cassia, nigella seed, cumin and some juniper dryness, too.
Taste: Smooth and with a good, clean flavour: dry juniper, coriander and citrus to start, then the spice approaches: hints of cardamom, cumin, caraway and a slight menthol note towards the end.
Gin & Tonic
The tonic seems to really accentuate the spice elements of the gin and there is a balance of both sweet spice and some more savoury flavors, such as cumin. Given the colonial nature of the gin’s branding, it is excellent that this works so well in a Gin & Tonic. There’s also a great burst of cardamom on the finish.
Very, very flavourful: sweet spice upfront, moving onto a more savoury, spicy finish. Ophir mixes very well, producing a crystal-clean result; very good, indeed, which fits in well with the excellent Martinis made by its sister gins, Berkeley Square and Bloom.
A lively Negroni that is very spicy, but not too bitter. The vermouth seems neatly accentuated by the spice notes of the gin, although that classic Negroni bitterness is definitely there, courtesy of the Campari.
The sweet, herbal notes of vermouth work well with the complex, spiced character of the gin, making an good, if intense after-dinner digestif.
There are other spiced gins on the market, but they seem to either side with sweet spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cassia) or savoury spice (cumin, ginger, pepper); Ophir is nice in that it has a little of both. My favourite drinks of the above were the excellent Gin & Tonic and the intense Sweet Martini.