Sipsmith was one of the first distilleries to designate vintages to their Sloe Gins. Like many seasonal crops, sloes are particularly weather reliant. Depending on the annual temperatures and weather conditions during their growing season, sloes from a particular year may be sweeter or more tart. This means that each year, Sipsmith’s Sloe gin may taste different from the previous year. Among aficionados, Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013 has a reputation for being one of the best vintages.
All of Sipsmith’s Sloe Gins begin as their Sipsmith London Dry Gin. The sloes are macerated in the gin and additional sweetening is added before bottling at 29.0% ABV.
Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013 is a rich burgundy in hue. Just in a glass, it seems to have a pronounced viscosity; it adheres to the sides of the glass for upwards a minute.
The nose is rich and thick. Plump, round black cherries that leave an impression as if they’re sitting in a thick gently sugared syrup. Other berry notes, such as hints of black currant and even a dash of blueberry lend balance to the sloe notes. Sipsmith’s signature gin notes are subtle underneath it. Almost indistinguishable, it leaves a faint impression of spices and juniper that reminds you there’s a gin in here.
The palate of Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013 absolutely bursts forward with jammy and fruity notes. This is where it really distinguishes itself among sloe gins. Cherry and sloe notes early. The berries are balanced just enough that warm hints of stewed citrus zests, piney juniper and apple pie spice shine through. It all comes together as if mixed into a sloe pie, bursting from the oven at a family autumnal holiday.
The finish is exceptionally long with spiced plums dancing. Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013 has impressive staying power on the palate.
But what I really enjoy about this is the restraint with the sugar. Certainly Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013 is sweet, but it’s only just sweet enough. It avoids some of the cloying or cough syrup notes that plague other sloe gins.
Certainly Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013 is good enough to drink just on its own. I found it to be good in a Sloe Gin Fizz, but it was exceptional in the North by Northwest Cocktail that I found while just searching for exciting new sloe gin drinks. Highly Recommended.
Overall, Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013
In a world rife with cloying or underwhelming sloe gins, Sipsmith Distillery saves the day. Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2013 is one of— it not in absolute terms— the best sloe gin I’ve ever had.
Well balanced, the gin comes through. It’s not cloying. The sloe flavor is astounding and robust.
Highly recommended in its category.