Product Type: Gordon's Vodka
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Gordon's Sloe Gin
Member Name: jo1976
Gordon's Sloe Gin
Date: 29/10/12, updated on 24/08/13 (156 review reads)
Advantages: Pleasant taste, can be drunk neat without being overwhelming, distinctive colouring and branding
Disadvantages: More expensive than standard gin, less alcholic
My Dad is a difficult man to buy for so I usually end up giving him something alcoholic. Shortly before Fathers' Day, earlier this year, I was frantically scouring the booze aisles at Morrison's looking for inspiration when an unusual version of Gordon's Gin caught my eye. Sporting the curvy Gordan's logo and its distinctive flat-fronted and curved back bottle design, this gin was a really eye-catching purple colour.
Rather than boring old gin, this is Gordon's Sloe Gin. For those unfamiliar with sloe berries, the label describes them as '...the fruit of the wild blackthorn grown naturally in the countryside.' I don't think I would recognise sloe berries if I discovered them growing in the wild myself but, certainly taste wise, they have a resemblance to plums and damsons.
I knew this was the perfect choice for my Dad as I still have vivid memories from my childhood in the eighties of my Dad's homebrews - demijohns in the living room and dusty bottles of homemade sloe gin piled up in the outhouse! That was probably the last time that I'd seen sloe gin and had no idea that it was being commercially produced under the Gordon's brand name.
The gin went down a treat with my Dad, who was initially fooled by the distinctive shape of the wrapped present so the contents were far more of a surprise than he'd been expecting. What was even more surprising was my husband's curiosity when he spotted what I'd bought - leading me to buy another bottle for my husband's birthday the following month. (I'm nothing if not predictable!) I've probably added insult to injury by drinking far more of the contents than he actually has himself too!
One of my favourite aspects of this spirit is the beautiful vibrant red colour. At first glance, it resembles a glass of port but the aroma is unmistakably fruity with the strong fragrance reminding me of rich damson crumble. The first taste confirms this fruitiness and leaves a lovely rich sensation in my mouth. This is quickly overtaken by the heat of the alchol but it isn't as burning as stronger spirits can be, more pleasantly warming. I tend to drink this neat and find that it is perfectly palatable on its own, whereas I tend to find most spirits a bit overwhelming without a mixer. This gin is pleasantly sweet, much more to my taste than standard Gordon's which I don't particularly like, but not sweet enough to be sickly (unless, I imagine, you took upon yourself to drink the entire bottle.) This is surprisingly smooth and slips down really easily, making it a perfect evening drink for this time of year. Like traditional gin, this could also be mixed with tonic for a longer drink although I don't personally like the bitterness of tonic and can't imagine that it would benefit this spirit. I have tried it with lemonade as a longer drink but, unusually, this is one spirit that works much better on its own.
I'm not cosmopolitan enough to even pretend that I'm going try and mix the sloe gin into any cocktails but have to admit that I think the rich taste would lend itself perfectly to being 'mulled' with some spices as a real winter warmer. For those with more exotic tastes, Gordon's have helpfully suggested some recipe ideas for cocktails:
I paid the full price for both bottles which, at £17 per 70cl bottle, is pretty expensive especially considering the comparatively low alcohol content. Standard Gordon's gin contains 37.5% volume alcohol whereas this sloe gin version contains just 26% and is considerably more expensive. I don't think I could drink enough of either to get drunk, however, so it's not a major issue for me. At this time of year, supermarkets tend to have this type of seasonal drink on promotion in preparation for Christmas and it is currently possible to pick up a bottle for as little as £14.62 from Asda which compares more favourably with the price of a bottle of standard Gordon's gin (currently £13 from Asda.)
Although this wasn't a spirit that I originally intended to drink myself, it is surprisingly drinkable, even for someone like me who drinks relatively little alcohol nowadays, much less neat spirits. I would recommend this as a warming Winter tipple, a gift for the awkward man in your life or as an unusual addition to the Christmas drinks offerings.
Summary: A delicious and very drinkable Winter warmer with a refreshing fruity taste
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