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Review

Demijohn Sloe Gin

Distillery

Retailed exclusively by Angus and Frances Ferguson of Demijohn Ltd., Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Website

Demijohn.

History

Family run business established in 2004 acting primarily as retailers for small scale UK based producers. They sell a range of liqueurs and other flavored liquids (including oils and vinegars) and refer to themselves as a Liquid Deli. Starting with the one shop in Edinburgh this has increased to include shops in Glasgow and York, not to mention a thriving mail order trade, which stretches across the globe.

They have the unusual but environmentally friendly process of selling their fluids in over 20 different sized and shaped bottles, which can be refilled at their shops, or returned by mail for refilling – saving a discount of 10%. Please note, due to small-scale production and limited seasonal supplies, products are not always available to meet demand! To assist in the process the business close down their retail outlets for several days throughout the year and everyone goes picking the natural produce from the wild e.g. elderflowers and sloeberries, to provide supplies for many of their producers.

Production

Phyliss and Colin Hingston make this on their Worcestershire farm in England, UK - using an updated version of an old family recipe dating from 1842. Sloes from Scotland (picked by Demijohn employees), their farm and supplemented with others from Poland are stepped in an undisclosed London Dry Gin. This, with added sugar, is left to mature for about a year. Despite increasing production levels, every year demand always outstrips supply, so aim to order early to avoid disappointment!

Category

Flavored Gin - Sloe.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

25% (50 Proof). Although previously produced at 20% and 22%.

Price Range

$$$$$$. Not available in the USA. Only available exclusively from Demijohn, shipping is available but some restrictions to the USA apply and cost is dependent upon location.

Botanicals

Unknown but includes sloeberries.

Name

It was while in Italy, seeing a Cantina refilling customers’ containers with wine, the idea to replicate this back in the UK came to mind for owner Angus Ferguson. A demijohn (or carboy) is a large container for carrying liquids (water, wine or liquor) and is usually 5 gallons in capacity (but can be anything up to 15 gallons). The name is based on this classic carrier and the key botanical flavor used.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is a strong red fruit berry plum (sloe) aroma. On the palate this bittersweet smooth spirit has a fruity plum (sloe) flavor with hints of traditional gin (juniper, coriander and citrus) notes just poking through. In the close there is dryness with bittersweet notes in the finish, no doubt from the Gin’s botanicals (but too faint for us to clearly identify). We tried this originally at 20% ABV (where any trace of Gin was ultimately lost) and at 25% ABV where the Gin notes appear and the added bitter dryness can be found.

This is good to sip neat and makes for a warming winter drink. However, add a cool sparkling mixer e.g. soda, tonic, white wine etc. and you have a refreshing summers drink. This Sloe Gin has some bitterness not found in others on the market and for this reason is well worth trying. However, we can’t help being a little ambivalent about it because the overall taste, whilst very nicely pleasant, doesn't seem superior to others available at a lower price point. We can only suggest tasting it for yourself to determine if you value the flavor for the price, as we are undecided ourselves.

We believe this Gin is exactly the same as Tipsy Fruit Sloe Gin – especially since it is made by the same people!

Awards & Accolades

World Champion, Artisan Sloe Ginster Championship, 2014.



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