Premier Cru: Master Distiller Dr Anne Brock unveils the latest creation from Bombay Sapphire

Dr Anne Brock master distiller of Bombay Sapphire pictured at the gins distillery in Laverstoke, Hampshire.

Bombay Sapphire’s Master Distiller Dr Anne Brock opens the door to Laverstock Distillery, sharing the creation of the NEW Premier Cru

Bombay Sapphire has officially launched Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, an exquisite, handcrafted small-batch gin, celebrating nature’s finest flavours.

Premier Cru meaning ‘best growth’ is a term often used in French classification to indicate supreme quality. This term brings attention to Bombay Sapphire’s carefully sourced botanicals, particularly the Murcian Fino lemons that serve as the heart of Premier Cru’s flavour.

This London Dry gin has been handcrafted to capture the fresh and aromatic flavours of Murcia’s most exquisite citrus. The lemons used are of exceptional quality and have all been handpicked and hand peeled from a late harvest when their aromas and flavours are most intense. The unique citrus profile of Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru heroes the signature Murcian Fino lemons elegant flavour, supported by botanical additions of sweet navel orange and mandarin, for a bittersweet yet balanced taste.

“Premier Cru has been made to hero the people behind Bombay Sapphire – the suppliers and growers of our botanicals.”

Held at a higher ABV of 47%, Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru is elegant, yet bold and bright while remaining remarkably smooth and refined, with no artificial flavours and sustainably certified botanicals.

A Celebration of Craft, Knowledge and Hard Work

Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru is a testament to the unique, long-term collaboration between Ivano Tonutti, Bombay Sapphire’s Master of Botanicals, Dr Anne Brock, Bombay Sapphire’s Master Distiller and the artisanal growers and suppliers in the Murcia region
of Spain.

Q&A with Dr Anne Brock…

Dr Anne Brock – who has a PhD in Organic Chemistry joined the Bombay team after several years in a small central-London distillery. Below she describes the complex and precise process that goes into every bottle of Premier Cru.

How long have you been working on Premier Cru?
In some ways, you could say that we’ve been working on it for years. Premier Cru has been made to hero the people behind Bombay Sapphire – the suppliers and growers of our botanicals. Ivano Tonutti, our Master of Botanicals, has built up close relationships with our botanical growers extending over 20 years.

Dr Anne Brock master distiller of Bombay Sapphire pictured at the gin’s distillery in Laverstoke, Hampshire.

Can you talk us through the Premier Cru distillation process, from the farm to
the bar?
Premier Cru is 100% Vapour Infused. This is a distillation process that holds the botanicals in baskets along the lyne arm of the still, away from the grain spirit and water in the body of the still. We extract the flavours from the botanicals by passing vapour through the baskets during distillation. It’s a unique extraction method that allows us to get a very specific flavour profile out – one that is a bright and natural expression of the botanicals we use. This is especially important in Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru because we want to capture the very best of the bright citrus peel we use in the gin.

The peel comes to Laverstoke from the fields of Murcia in Southeast Spain, where the fruit is harvested and then peeled by hand before being dried on lines under the Mediterranean sun. This ensures that we get the very best peel, with minimal pith, and the flavour oils are perfectly concentrated before being packed up and sent to us. The gin is then distilled at Laverstoke before being bottled and shipped around the world.

What makes Premier Cru extra special is that we hero each individual harvest by selecting the exact point at which the batch is ‘cut,’ to bring out the nuances of the Murcian citrus. This is a complex process, often owing as much to art as it does science. For each small batch of Premier Cru, a precise cut of the distillation is selected – the exact moment that captures only the most vibrant aromas, flavours, and characteristics.

Murcian citrus suppliers in Spain

How is Premier Cru different from Bombay Sapphire?
Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru is a small batch, handcrafted gin and is based on the Bombay Sapphire recipe but with additional citrus peels in the botanical blend – expect a bright and balanced gin that is citrus led, bold yet refined in flavour.
Bombay Sapphire uses a blend of lemon varietals, particularly Verna and Fino as it is produced year-round, while Premier Cru focuses predominantly on Fino. Fino lemons are renowned for the large amounts of aromatic essential oils held in their skins. They are available in smaller quantities and only during the winter harvest which runs from January to April.

Why Murcian lemons?
Murcia is a region in Spain that is world-renowned for its citrus crop and where we source the lemon peel for all our Bombay Sapphire gins. Murcia is by the sea and is surrounded by mountains, so it has a unique microclimate that is perfect for citrus growing. If you look closely at the Premier Cru bottle you will see coordinates giving the exact location of Murcia.

The Murcian lemon peels

Bombay Sapphire has pioneered sustainability in the spirits industry. How does Premier Cru continue this legacy?
Every product we make at Bombay Sapphire has sustainability at the heart and Premier Cru is no different. The botanicals are certified sustainable, and the gin is made at Laverstoke – our distillery which won a BREEAM award for its sustainable design. The distillery is zero waste to landfill with all waste converted into energy and uses rainwater harvesting and 100% renewable electricity. We don’t rest on our laurels as a distillery though, we push every year to make improvements in the way we work with the aim of protecting the beautiful planet we live on. It’s a core part of my job and one that I am very passionate about.

Favourite gin cocktail and why?
Right now, it’s a French 75 with Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, it’s bright and delicious and makes any moment feel like a true celebration.

To stock Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, reach out to your Bacardi-Martini Australia representative.