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 London DryGin, 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!
Very happy with this product. However, I can't say the same for the choice of delivery people, Parcel Force. There is no choice section to leave a parcel in a porch, at the back of the house or with a neighbour. If you aren't at home when they try to deliver then you have to go and personally collect it from the Post Office or Main Depot they have left it with. There is no option to organise a re-delivery slot for smaller items such as this when you will be home. I do rather object to paying a delivery fee then having to pick the goods up myself. I have decided that after many instances like this, I will try to avoid purchasing any item from a Company that uses Parcel Force.
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 London DryGin 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 London Dry 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.
Whether you'll enjoy this gin will depend on what type of gin you typically like best; if you're into "savoury" gins like Ophir, you'll probably think this is rank. If you're into floral or fruity gins, this may be too close to the Gordons end of the spectrum (though its definitely nicer than Gordons, like its more refined cousin!) Personally I'm a fan of citrus gins (Tanqueray n10 and Tanqueray Rangpur are my favourites) - and this gin promising citrus notes was what made me click on it when it showed in my vine queue.
The bottle is pretty simple. It looks fine in with the other gins in my cabinet but not a standout - and thats kind of, to me, just like the taste; its a nice typical drygin but nothing breathtaking. The flavour is heavy juniper berry with a smidge of generic citrus hint, and it makes a good G&T - but to me it was so similar to Gordons that I tested it blind with a friend, who thought "its a bit nicer... is there something different with the tonic?" - from this and my own opinion, I would say it's definitely better than Gordons, but so similar that unless you had an extremely sensitive palette, you probably wouldn't notice it as a different gin with a mixer.
Neat, its very warming and does indeed have a smooth mouthfeel - kind of like a really good whiskey - it doesn't kick you in the face, but heats your throat - just in a more mellow and fragrant way than whiskey would.
All in all - a nice gin, and probably one I would recommend as an introduction to someone who wasn't sure if they'd be a fan of gin - its basically pleasant, safe, and does have a great juniper flavour - but it's nothing outstanding or distinctive (to me anyway!)
A drygin, 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.
I don’t actually remember what this tasted like the last time I had this - so I took my time over fixing tonight’s drink for this review. Not too much time though, as the ice was half melted by the time I was ready to pour in the gin. Open this bottle and the aromatics are so intense and summery. Taste, neat is dry juniper, crisp and zesty.
I tried it with aromatic tonic, as that was all that was in the fridge - personally I feel this detracts from the clean crisp flaovour of the gin. And a normal tonic is better.
This is a very tasty gin, which I enjoy neat, over ice, or mixed with some Fever Tree tonic. For a drygin, it is suprisingly sweet, perhaps due to the liquorice, but not excessively so. The botanicals are all very well balanced. I particularly like the subtle citrus flavours (although these are a little redundant, if you serve it with lime or lemon, as many will). I understand Sipsmith pioneered the micro-distilling industry, and for that, I'm very grateful to them!
The Sipsmith London DryGin is a softer, smoother gin than some London Dry 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*
I'm not normally a gin drinker, but with the festive entertaining season around the corner I thought it would be worth adding this to the drinks cabinet in readiness. I was surprisingly pleased I did. The sipsmith drygin is a pleasant, light and subtle tasting gin. I'm not sure I'm enough of a connoiseur to pick up the individual ingredients, but I it certainly tastes crisp and fresh, and has a lovely nose to it. It came beautifully packaged, which is another indication that this is a drink of quality. I'm looking forward to testing it out in some festive cocktails now! Cheers!