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Review

SLOEmotion Sloe Gin

Distillery

SLOEmotion Ltd., Barton-Le-Willows, York, North Yorkshire (London Dry Gin made by Thames Distillers Ltd., Clapham, London), England, UK.

Website

SLOEmotion Ltd

History

The business was initially established in 2002 at Manor farm in Malton by Julie and Richard Brown. By 2007 the business had grown and it had to move to bigger premises in Barton-Le-Willows. Today’s owner and Managing Director Jonathan Curtoys (along with his brother Julian) has a keen eye for agriculture and ecology and uses this in his farming and conservational practices. Their flagship product is sloe Gin, and they have built an outstanding range of allied products, including the use of spent fruit from their spirit production to create culinary delights (e.g. sloe gin truffles).

Thames Distillers is run by Charles Maxwell who is the 8th generation of the family (founders of the Finsbury Distillery) who have been producing Gin since 1700 – making them the oldest unbroken lineage in Gin distillation.

Production

Uses a London Dry Gin as the base spirit, made by Thames Distillers in London. Sloemotion have around 15 miles of blackthorn hedgerows from which they harvest their sloes and supplement this by buying additional sloes from surrounding farms. A higher amount of fruit (than usual) is added to the base spirit to make their Sloe Gin. It is made in the traditional way, using a recipe handed down by the Curtoys brothers father, with the fruit steeped in gin and sugar and left to mature for around 12 – 16 weeks.

Repackaged and rebranded in 2007, the light red colored Gin is presented in a clear glass hip flask-styled bottle, made by Croxsons in Surrey, England. It sports a mainly purple label with silver trim, with a picture of sloeberries in the top half of the label.

Category

Flavored Gin - Sloe.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

26% (52 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$ - $$$$$. Not available in the USA, but is available for delivery within the European Union from the SLOEmotion website.

Botanicals

Unknown but includes sloeberries.

Name

The name is a pun on replacing the word “slow” with “Sloe” (after their flagship Sloe Gin product) and it is a slow motion process – the blackthorn bushes, the sloeberries grow on, are the first to flower each season but one of the last to bear fruit (not to mention the steeping period of 3 to 4 months). We like the marketing tag line (used on their bottles) of “Life on the hedge”.

Tasting Notes

On the nose there is a red cherry fruit aroma. On the palate this sweet spirit has a bitter tart cherry flavor with hints of almonds and juniper. On the close the fruity bittersweet taste continues with hints of almond, juniper, lavender and vanilla (we had to sample a lot to identify these trace flavors!) as it leads to a drying Gin and warm peppery spice finish.

This was a reasonably sweet sloe Gin but not the syrupy treacle kind from added sugar but suspect this comes from the high levels of fruit added – we understand its 2 parts sloeberries to 3 parts Gin. Whilst we prefer dry Sloe Gin versions (try their Damson Gin if this is true for you too) it is recommended as a good choice among those with slightly sweeter palates seeking a quality, hand made and sustainable based Sloe Gin.

Awards & Accolades

1 Gold Star, Great Taste Awards, 2008.

Gold Medal, Yorkshire Post Readers Awards, 2007.

Gold Medal, Taste of Britain Awards, 2007.



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