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Opihr

Opihr Gin, Opihr Far East, Arabian and Mediterranean Gin

Overview

Having been an outlier in the gin category for a long time (there are still comparatively few overtly spiced gins) Ophir Gin expanded its range in 2019 when its flagship was joined by three others. The European Edition contains cascarilla bark mixed with fragrant myrrh, creating a fragrant spiced profile, while the Arabian Edition blends black lemon and timut pepper to create an intense citrus and spice-led mix. The third, the Opihr Far East Edition, combines rich flavours of Szechuan pepper and smoky ajwain lending it a warm mouthfeel.

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is was initially launched by Quintessential Brands in October 2013, the gin is made at the G&J Distillery and backed by their experienced team.

G&J Greenall is Britain’s second largest distillery, producing over 7mn cases of spirit annually and boasting a hard-earned, world-class reputation for expertise and craftsmanship. The distillery plays a big part in the third party distilling world, but also has a plethora of quality spirits under its own portfolio: Greenall’s, Bloom, Berkeley Square and Thomas Dakin, all of which are made under the watchful eye of head distiller Joanne Moore.

Opihr Gin is named after the legendary port from which King Solomon was said to receive a cargo of gold, silver, sandalwood, pearls, ivory, apes and peacocks every three years. While this may sound like the content of a hipster’s Anthropolgie shopping basket today, during days of yore such items were extremely exotic and would have only been garnered through mad and dangerous means.

The gin itself was designed with the equally exotic ancient spice route in mind – that which sailed from Indonesia to the United Kingdom via India, Turkey, Italy, Morocco and Spain. The route was treacherous indeed; the sea was wild, and so were the pirates that roamed it. The spices were in huge demand however and so the ships sailed…

Opihr Gin

Opihr Gin positively vibrates with the influence of the stops along the route. Upon its launch, Moore said: “I took my inspiration from visits to the Orient and various countries along the Ancient Spice Route. I kept an image of the spice markets in mind while deciding on the spices and botanicals to include in Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin. I hope that when people enjoy the gin, they too are reminded of the vibrant aromas, tastes, noises and colours of these exotic spice markets.”

While none of the botanicals are particularly unusual, their combined presence pulls the drink down a very distinctive path. There’s cubeb from Malaysia, black pepper, cardamom and ginger from India, cumin from Turkey, coriander seed from Morocco, bitter oranges from Spain, Juniper from Italy and Angelica from Germany in the mix. The only ingredient whose origin goes unexplained is grapefruit peel. This lack of passport is quickly forgiven however, as it gives a much-needed zing to the gin and is a very welcome addition to this potent mix.

On the nose, Opihr Gin has a heady spice mix with cardamom very much raising its hand above the rest of the class. There’s also a cheeky, zesty citrus making itself known. While there is certainly a spiced explosion to taste, there is also a discernible sweetness from the orange in Opihr Gin. Cubeb dominates the finish with its deliciously exotic and characterful notes of cracked pepper and light violet. Bottled at 40% ABV, the gin is an interesting, intoxicating adventure.

Pairing Opihr in a G&T is an interesting challenge as pushing it to become more spiced with a sliver of red chilli yields some interesting results, but fair warning – it’s not for the faint hearted. 

We like to serve Opihr with Double Dutch Tonic and a grapefruit peel along with a couple of cardamom pods. 

For those who like a Gin Buck (Gin and ginger ale) – Ophir is a contender for the ideal gin choice, as its flavours carry particularly well in the mixer, particularly when served with chilis.

Spirits Kiosk
Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin
Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin
70cl40%GB
£22.94