- Food & Drink
Sloane's Premium Dry Gin
Once again the Gin Fairy has come calling and this time she has bought me a stylish bottle of Sloane’s Premium Dry Gin. So stylish is the bottle that I’ve begun to reconsider my usual habit of sneaking around Nunhead, depositing empties in my neighbour’s recycling bins. Instead, I think I’ll build some shelves and put the bottles there. Then, when anyone asks me what I do with my time, I’ll gesture towards the Wall Of Gins Past and raise one eyebrow, assuming I still have control of my facial muscles by then.
Sloane’s Gin is named after Sir Hans Sloane, the 18th century doctor, collector and inventor of warm, milky chocolate beverages. The name might lead you to conclude that it’s distilled somewhere in SW1 by gin scientists with big, glossy hair and an endless supply of tan tights. But Sloane’s Gin is not made in Chelsea.
No, Sloane’s Gin is distilled elsewhere. And if you have a hat you may want to take a firm grip of the brim right about now, because Sloane’s Gin is distilled in The Netherlands. Which is Abroad. Which means this is a Foreign Gin.
Some people might argue that the Dutch invented gin, and in many respects they’d be right. But it’s in Britain that gin truly found its home, drugging the populace into a juniper heavy coma from which some of us refuse to wake. Why would we?
So, it’s with some trepidation that I pour myself my first glass of Foreign Gin. Are the Dutch still able to blend a tonic worthy brew?
Day or night gin? At 40% it’s a respectable night gin. And given that the clocks have gone back, this means you can open it up sometime around 4.30pm.
What does it smell of? Fresh and creamy, like a walk in an Alpine field full of lactating cows. There’s a whiff of spice and only the barest hint of nail polish remover. In gin terms, this is almost friendly.
How does it taste? Very green and herby, with lots of earthy juniper. It’s sweet – vanilla is one of the botanicals – with a flowery heart and a burst of peppery coriander at the end. It’s very easy to drink, barely putting up a fight at all. I can imagine needing double measures in a gin and tonic to ensure its presence is felt. That’s the trouble with friendly gins. They seem so gentle and kind, but they’re just tricking you into wanting more and more of them.
Buy it? I was sent my bottle of Sloane’s for free, but The Whisky Exchange sells it for £24.95. It’s perhaps a little too sweet for me – I like my gins dirtier and to put up a bit of a fight, but I can see why it’s won awards. It’s very smooth and very drinkable. It’d be good neat over ice or used in cocktails, especially with sharp mixers.
I’m forced to conclude that the Dutch know what they’re doing when it comes to mixing up a gin. I’ve released my grip on my hat and I’m doffing it to them.