It’s a trite saying: There are no losers here, only winners. It’s meant to encourage the ones who lose and let them know that their efforts were appreciated. As sayings go, it’s both patronizing and trite.
But here at the Hedonist, in the competition between Bombay Sapphire vs. Plymouth Gin, there are no losers, because the rules of the game allow for the possibility of the readers choosing one gin, and the operator of this here site (i.e. me) to choose the other as better. This is exactly what has happened in this instance.
The readers chose Bombay Sapphire over Plymouth by a margin of 55% to 45%.
I, on the other hand, took a drink from from both and said, “Y’know, I like Plymouth better.”
I can’t explain the reasons behind the readers choice, but I can tell you what I was thinking. But first, to let you know how I taste, a brief explanation. I put two ounces of each gin in different glasses, and then add two ounces of filtered water into each of those glasses. The water dilutes the alcohol just enough to reduce its tongue numbing qualities, and dilute the taste of the alcohol enough to let the flavors of the botanicals shine through. A 1:1 ratio of gin to water isn’t a perfect equalizer, but it does it’s job well enough for me.
At any rate, my notes were as follows:
Aroma – A subtle citrus peel scent with the junipers sneaking in at the last minute. I called the scent “cool”, which is difficult to qualify, I know. As weird as it sounds, it reminded me of a spring day.
Taste – The juniper comes in slowly, and then is overwhelmed by the other botanicals. There’s a definitive lemon/citrus taste, with a subtle bit of anise and floral taste. The finish is pleasant and decrescendos nicely. This isn’t a bold gin, but a subtle one.
Aroma – Spicier than the Bombay Sapphire, with notable coriander and cardamom aromas, surrounded nicely by the juniper. As cool as the Bombay Sapphire was in its aroma, this gin is warm and inviting.
Taste – The juniper is a little more prevalent here than in the Bombay Sapphire, but not by much. Unlike the Bombay Sapphire, its aroma is equitable to its taste, and I could pick out the flavors that I had sniffed previously.
Why did I pick Plymouth over Sapphire?
Really, it boils down to preference. Both are gins of good to great quality, and whatever flaws I perceived were none due to the crafting of either gin, but ones of my own personal taste. I picked Plymouth because I like spicy over floral, and I like the straightforward flavors over the nuances of Bombay Sapphire.
Or, to put it in more poetical terms, Bombay Sapphire reminded me of Spring, and Plymouth Gin reminded me of autumn. And I’ve always preferred the fall to the spring.
I’ll have to update the bracket to reflect the readers choice, and add my own bracket to the list of topics. And both Bombay Sapphire and Plymouth Gin will move on to the next round in each bracket, where they both will face off against Beefeaters.