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Review

Hawker's Sloe Gin

Distillery

James Hawker & Co. Ltd., (Pernod-Ricard Group) Montford Place Distillery (where Beefeater Gin is made), Kennington, London, England, UK.

Website

Pernod Ricard.

History

William Hawker created the recipe for this Sloe Gin back in the 1790’s. In the 1820’s the family started a wine merchant business called James Hawker & Co. Ltd., based in Bretonside, Plymouth, England. The business stayed at this same location for so long that the road it was on became named Hawker’s Avenue, after the company. Although not trading at this site anymore, the building still exists today. The family business, using William Hawker’s recipe, were the very first company to produce and market a Sloe Gin. Hawker’s became the authority in Sloe Gin and the brand has endured for almost two hundred years.

Allied Domeqq eventually acquired the company and the brand suffered as they all but gave up competing against Gordon’s Sloe Gin. Fortunately Allied Domeqq (who also owned Beefeater Gin) was bought by the Pernod-Ricard Group in 2005 and the brand has continued. However, Pernod Ricard whilst it has spent a lot of time and effort in very successfully re-launching the Beefeater brand, it has done very little with Hawker’s Sloe Gin (it is not even mentioned on their website). This is a real shame, especially given its heritage and obvious quality. Let us hope Pernod Ricard find the desire to revitalise this wonderful product, we believe it would be a true winner given the backing of their resources.

Production

Made from gin steeped in 100% wild-picked Dartmoor sloes.

The Gin is presented in a clear traditional whisky style bottle with a large yellow label and blue & gold colored writing.

Category

Flavored Gin - Sloe.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

28% (56 Proof).

Price Range

$$$. Not available in the USA. We have been unable to identify a supplier able to ship to the USA but it is available (seasonally) from The Drink Shop or Beers of Europe, both based in the UK.

Botanicals

Unknown, but includes juniper berries and sloeberries.

Name

Named after the original creator of the recipe William Hawker, and the key flavored botanical used.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is red berry with sweet herbal notes. On the palate this silky smooth sweet spirit has strong sloe with clear herbal aspects. In the close there is a bite of bitterness as it dries in the finish. A complex and rich Sloe Gin.

Whilst the degree of sweetness is not to everyone’s taste this is clearly luxurious and a well-delivered Sloe Gin, standing apart from others. This is our favorite Sloe Gin for sipping and it seems almost a waste to mix with other drinks. This certainly makes our top ten of Sloe Gins and is highly recommended.

Awards & Accolades

Holds a Royal warrant and is the only Sloe Gin to do so.



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