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Review

Lindisfarne Sloe Gin

Distillery

Lindisfarne Ltd., St. Aiden’s Winery, Holy Island, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, UK.

Website

Lindisfarne Mead.

History

The Holy Island (of Lindisfarne) lies off the North East coast of England, about 50 miles North of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and 70 miles South East of Edinburgh. It can be reached by boat or by crossing a 3-mile causeway, which is covered by water at high tide (so is not accessible 2 hours before and 3 hours after High Water). This small island is about 1,000 square acres in size and has a population of less than 200 people.

Lindisfarne has a very early monastery, built by Saint Aiden in 634, with a disturbed history. Suffering Viking and Norman conquering rule across the first five centuries, it was finally destroyed in the 1500’s (although there are remains), as part of the church reformation by King Henry VIII. The monastery however, maintains an important Celtic Christian heritage known as the “Lindisfarne Gospels”. The monks made an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels, during the 700’s. In the late 900’s Old English was added to the original Latin text. Today, these are the oldest surviving Old English gospels and are housed in the British Library in London.

In medieval times, the monks were renowned for their production of a fermented alcoholic beverage of water and honey called Mead. Although the monks have departed their recipe has been kept a secret by the local Hackett family who still produce it today at St. Aiden’s Winery. Established in 1962 by Michael Hackett it is run by Lindsay Hackett today and Mead is made alongside other drinks including Wine, Whisky, Rum and liqueurs including this Sloe Gin.

There is a visitor’s showroom and shop at the winery, and whilst there why not visit the monastery, church and castle on the island too. Lindisfarne is part of the 20 farne islands (15 at High Water) and are popular for bird watching (nearly 300 species) and scuba diving – with 100’s of wrecks and a curious seal colony, numbering 5,000.

Production

The production process is unknown but suspect the sloes are infused in Gin.

The deep red/purple colored Gin is presented in a clear cylindrical bottle with rounded shoulders and a long neck. It has a medium sized light yellow label at the bottom of the bottle with colored drawing of purple sloeberries and purple lettering.

Category

Flavored Gin - Sloe.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

25 % (50 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$. Not available in the USA. However, try Nickolls & Perks in the UK (remember this maybe seasonal for fall/winter), we believe their delivery costs are quite reasonable.

Botanicals

Unknown, but certainly contains juniper berries and sloeberries.

Name

Named after the island where it is made and the key botanical flavoring.

Tasting Notes

Unfortunately we have not tasted this yet, so are unable to provide any details. It will be interesting to see how this compares with other Sloe Gins; we’re informed this is a good version and look forward to trying it soon.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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