Review: Sloane’s Gin
Keeping track of new product launches in the spirit world can be a tricky business. It seems that barely an hour goes by when someone hasn’t gotten a latest bottle of something or other to flaunt, and if a day goes by where I haven’t heard about the latest ‘big thing’ I begin to worry that my email might have died. This is no bad thing mind you, and I like to think I keep a fairly close ear to the ground for fear that I might miss out on something truly special. When the first time I see a new spirit is on the shelves of my local supermarket, I am excited and surprised in equal measure. It seems only right therefore, that I check out whether said product is as tasty as it is expert at subverting my spirit radar.
Sloane’s gin is produced in the Netherlands and is named after an 18th century scientist by the name of Sir Hans Sloane, who interesting is credited with ‘inventing’ drinking chocolate; although the fact that he is also believed to be responsible for introducing several botanicals typically used in gin to the UK is probably a more relevant link to the gin! Although not completely unique in the gin world, Sloane’s gin is unusual in that each of it’s ten botanicals (juniper, angelica, orris root, coriander seeds, vanilla pods, cardamom, liquorice, orange, lemon and a secret one) are distilled separately as whole fruits (rather than dried) before being blended to create the finished product.
Juniper is upfront on the nose, but is softened by the other botanicals to present less of an intense pine aroma than many. It has a distinct creamy note from the vanilla but this is balanced by the earthier liquorice and coriander and enhanced by the citrus to create a rather pleasant and light yet complex nose. The juniper is once again soft on the palate, although there is still plenty of it to please traditionalists. The full and creamy mouthfeel is strikingly silky, almost to the point of detracting from the other botanicals. Tasted neat, the vanilla sits quite nicely; it is sufficiently prominent to distinguish this as a unique product, but without dominating the other flavours. Like with the nose, the liquorice is easily distinguishable whilst the citrus and earthier botanicals are content to play a supporting role. It’s a delicious sipping gin and one that I preferred much more at room temperature vs frozen, where the balance is lost and the vanilla seems to dominate, although for some this is exactly what will appeal with this gin.
The dominance of the vanilla at lower temperatures becomes evident when mixed in a number of drinks. Whether this is a good thing or not depends entirely on your taste preferences and the drink you are making. I’m not the biggest fan of Sloane’s in a martini for example yet in a Last Word it brings out the herbal elements of the Chartreuse wonderfully whilst also creating a deliciously light cocktail that I found dangerously drinkable. The softness of this gin means that it can be mixed ‘short’ without creating a drink that is too ‘ginny’ for those who prefer a more approachable taste than a full-on juniper attack, whilst the complex and rounded flavour profile ensures that your palate will not be left wanting. There is just the right balance of a distinct flavour profile with versatility to make this an interesting and flexible mixing gin.
“Sloane’s Gin is a great addition to the gin category. Its soft and creamy taste profile makes for some excellent cocktails, whilst retaining enough of the classic gin style to please traditionalists. The inclusion of vanilla into the botanical mix is generally an inspired choice, although can overpower in drinks in which gin is the predominant flavour. Definitely one to try.”
Sloane’s Gin is available to buy from Master of Malt
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.