Sloe Gin is not a drink that everyone will be familiar with - non Gin lovers will shy away from trying it. This is a mistake as, although gin based, infusing the gin in sloes for a few months produces a delicious drink which has little in common with neat gin. Come autumn we scour the hedgerows for sloes and make our own sloe gin, but having sampled Sipsmith's version I have come to appreciate that we are merely amateurs in this game!
In colour Sipsmith's is surprisingly light, equivalent to a less than full bodied red wine. However, the first mouthful is an explosion of taste and this really is the best version of this classic drink I have come across. I suspect that this has a lot to do with the fact that the gin used is Sipsmith's LondonDry Gin, which is at the premium end of the market and which my wife and I recently discovered. It has quickly become our favourite gin and if you check out the price per bottle of that tipple it makes sense of the pricing of their sloe gin. Manufacturers often use inferior gin to make sloe gin and the result really does not compare.
My wife and I are not lovers of sweet sickly liqueurs and we thought that the sweetness here was well balanced and not a dominant feature of the drink at all. It's a fine dividing line between producing sloe gin which is over or under sweet, but I would say the folk at Sipsmith's had got it about right.
If you have not tried this you are in for a real treat. Our only criticism was that the bottle did disappear rather quickly - we put it down to evaporation at altitude - after all we do live up a hill!
With the number of different gins being produced today it seems like there's a resurgence of the 18th century Gin Craze. Many are trying to be novel and distinctive, even radical, in their flavourings with the botanicals employed, and whilst there's room for these we shouldn't lose sight of traditional gin. The blurb for this Sipsmith LondonDry Gin sounds like this is exactly what they are trying to do.
The first test of a good gin is to try it neat, as a quality gin should be able to be consumed that way - the fashion for tonic came about as a way of diluting the rough stuff to make it more palatable. This certainly passes the test, and it's definitely a traditional gin in that the flavour of juniper is to the fore - and after all gin must have juniper to be called gin - and it's definitely of the LondonDry style as opposed to the many sweeter offerings around. The botanicals still come through very strongly with the addition of tonic. Certainly recommended for those who like a traditional gin.
A dry gin, with some hints of citrus on the nose and palate along with juniper. The taste is much straighter than some other well known brands, making this a perfect mixer rather than for straight gin & tonic.
I'm not sure why you would ever buy the smaller form bottle over the 75cl, unless you give it is as a gift for a gin loving friend and don't want to spend. A measure is either 25 or 35ml, so you really are looking at only 14-10 cocktails drinks from one bottle (assuming these are singles only). If you aren't sure and want to try it first, many reputable bars in London will stock it so it isn't hard to find, outside of London you might want to order this bottle.
Between 4 of us we finished this bottle off in one evening with 3 long drinks each, some having doubles.
The Sipsmith LondonDry Gin is a softer, smoother gin than some LondonDry varieties. With a strong juniper scent on opening the bottle, the gin has a peachy/nectarine taste and is very pleasant to drink either with or without a mixer. In the current weather, and given that the bottle is only 35cl, I don't expect it to last very long! 4*
This is a LondonDry Gin, meaning that all of the botanicals in it have been distilled, and tastes quite typical for this type of gin (quite dry, not too fruity). At 41.6% it has a touch more alcohol than usual. It's great in gin & tonics, Negronis and numerous other cocktails.
It has been years since I last had some gin, and then it was used as a mixer, so it was nice to open this bottle and instantly be hit by the smell of juniper. Of course gin is usually a drink served with tonic, or part of a cocktail, which most people know anyway, but when it first became popular here it was imbibed straight. Really with a good quality gin such as this this is how you should ideally drink it, with nothing added. Once you start adding other ingredients you are thus degrading and covering the real flavour of this, which is tantamount to sacrilege.
Gin has really started to have a renaissance this century with more people coming back to this lovely drink. I have read an article about Sipsmith before but this is the first time I have tried any of their drinks. This admittedly will go nice with tonic or indeed a very good Martini (but only if you use other quality ingredients). Of course gin isn’t gin without the botanicals and in this case we have Macedonian juniper berries, Seville orange peel, Spanish lemon peel, Italian orris root, Spanish liquorice root, Belgian angelica root, Madagascan cinnamon bark, Chinese cassia bark, Spanish ground almond, and Bulgarian coriander seed, which in all give this a smooth and lively taste.
At the moment I do have a bit of a cold so it isn’t perhaps the best time to be able to differentiate between all the subtleties when I sip this, but I am getting a clean slightly fruity taste with a peppery and spice hint which all tastes very fresh and cleansing. Because of my cold aroma wise all I am really getting is the juniper, but that smell is nice enough anyway. This is certainly a lovely LondonDry Gin and is a pleasure for the taste buds, so why not give it a try? This would be ideal for someone who loves gin as a present, and also ideal to drink when you have guests.
Gin can really be a lovely drink, so forget some of the bad things that have been said over the years and relax with a top quality drink. On another note this came very well packaged so don’t worry about ordering it here to be sent to you.
Fortunately, the positives have everything to do with the product itself, whilst the negatives have everything to do with the way Amazon sends you this product!
This is a good Gin, smooth, nicely-tasting and everything. On that basis alone I would recommend it to all those who already drink Gin as a good example of a quality spirit. Actually, my endeavours in taste-testing this - purely in the interests of scientific research and objectivity of course - have taught me a lot about Tonic in the process. Schweppes Indian Tonic water is the perfect complement to this drink. Sainsburys' Diet Indian Tonic Water with Lime, however, is not. Eugh yuck - cheap and nasty! But that is by the by.
As to the negatives - this does not actually say anything about the quality of the Gin, but it ought to tell you a lot about what you should expect if you choose to order it through Amazon. I was first alerted to the arrival of my consignment of Sipsmith Gin one morning when I heard angry voices shouting in the street outside my flat. Amazon's delivery driver had parked so atrociously that he enraged at least one motorist into suggesting that he emigrate to some country which is more tolerant of that kind of roadsmanship. At length, however, the driver was able to escape from getting into fisticuffs and delivered my package. ***It consisted of a large box, filled with stuffing, containing a smaller box, containing a sturdy airbag, containing the bottle itself.*** I therefore filled an entire recycling sack with the packaging for what is essentially a regular sized bottle of spirits.
So the irony is that although I would certainly consider buying Sipsmith LondonDry Gin again in general, I would think twice about ordering through Amazon!
PS: this review was written under the influence of two large Sipsmith Gin & Tonics, just for authenticity's sake. :-)
At first sight, this bottle of gin is a thing of beauty. The heavy waxed seal; the thick, raised detail glass; and the beautiful label, with detailed botanical drawings; the individual batch number; they all show that a lot of thought and care has gone into this Gin.
Sipsmith Gin is handmade in Copper pans, and been carefully crafted. What results, is a LondonDry Gin that is smooth, alive, and an absolute joy to drink. The first scent is a joy, a real moment to anticipate the first mouthful. I prefer to savour these flavours so opted to omit my usual lime wedge, and mixed simply with chilled Feverfew tonic. Lovely. A drink to savour and enjoy at anytime a really good G&T is needed. At 41.7% abv, it's a decent strength without the harsh raw alcohol burn of some less intelligently distilled spirits. Great value for the quality.
Highly recommended, perfect gift to give or to receive.
I attended a lecture (with samples!) presented by Hendricks at the Brighton Festival a couple of years back and learned many interesting facts about gin, including that more new gin makers had set up in the last ten years than in the previous hundred which has to be good news for gin lovers everywhere! Sipsmith are one of these, and although not a distillery I have come across before, they clearly know what they are doing as this gin is quite simply delicious.
This is a gin which you really want to savour and appreciate, and whilst I am not a fan of neat gin, you will definitely do much better if you don't swamp it with too much tonic as this will only be diluting the complex flavour. And a flavoursome mouthful it is too. It presents an interesting mix of flavours. The juniper is quite obvious, and I thought there were definite hints of orange peel, but most importantly it is a well balanced blend which works very well. At 41.6% it is strong, but not the strongest you can get. However, it is so flavoursome that you get the impression that it is significantly stronger.
I like the more interesting gins such as Tanqeray and Bombay Sapphire mainly because the mixture of botanicals and herbs make for a much more interesting drink than basic LondonDry Gin. Their more recent up market introductions - Bombay East and Tanqueray Ten are even better. However, Sipsmiths really knocks spots off both of these, and at a comparable price it is really no contest. My wife and were really impressed at the first glass, but felt obliged to try a second just to make sure!
Sipsmith's LondonDry Gin is a great value for money, classy gin, containing ten botanicals that give a slightly citrusy, whilst floral taste. Sipsmiths are proud that their botanicals come from all across the world; the full ten are: Macedonian Juniper Berries Seville Orange Peel Spanish Lemon Peel Italian Orris Root Spanish Liquorice Root Belgian Angelica Root Madagascan Cinnamon Bark Chinese Cassia Bark Spanish Ground Almond Bulgarian Coriander Seed
Obviously, I don't think you can taste all of these, but it may well be the combination that creates the winning and distinctive formula for a delicious gin and tonic. This definitely tastes different to the usual brands such as Gordon's and Bombay Sapphire, and even Tanqueray, with much more 'aroma' and a smoother taste on the palette especially considering the price. And a little goes a long way - I can't wait to enjoy more G&Ts!