One of the best Sloe Gins out there.
Notes: This listing is cross-listed in both the liqueur and gin sections.
Fords Gin Company also makes a couple of other lovely gins known as Fords Gin and Fords Officers Gin Maiden Voyage No.1
Made in London at the Thames Distillery this is one of the few decent sloe gins out there. Made from sloe berries, a relative of plums and also called the blackthorn, sloe berries are quite astringent when fresh. Unlike the bulk of Sloe Gins out there today, Fords Sloe Gin is made from an excellent gin base and fresh sloe berries. Many of their competitors use grain alcohol, extracts, or chemicals to produce a bathtub gin version of this gin liqueur.
.Appearance: Deep dark ripe cherry color, beautiful clarity. Thick edge line on swirling with long legs slowly forming.
First Impression: First a very distinct smell that is very reminiscent of almost every type of pepper I know of. At first, it was black pepper then bell peppers, and then traces of Jalapeno. Rather reminiscent of Stag Horn sumac mixed with the other spices of Fords Gin – cardamom, coriander, orris root, and citrus, with earthy dry overtones balancing everything out. Then it settles down to a more spicy plum jam bouquet.
Taste: Sweet spicy entry and smooth. A bracing mixture of juniper, blackthorn berries, citrus, and the other spices rushes headlong through the palate leaving a warm oily wake, mild tingling on the lips and tongue, and hints of juniper, citrus, and cardamom. Relatively clean with only a minor sticky candy note, cleans up with a very interesting mixture of herbs and citrus notes. Slight warming burn on the way down. Finish is slightly oily, long, and pleasant.
Drinks: The main ingredient in the Sloe Gin Fizz and a host of other drinks.
We found the Fords to be excellent in all the drinks we tried. Think of it as a substitute for cranberry juice with a lot more flavor or as a very fruity, sweet, and less herbal red vermouth as ideas to get you started.
Bottle: A standard Ford Design Bottle maximized for ease of handling, balance and grip were carefully considered in the design along with width and height. Also easy to read inventory measurements on the side of the bottle.
Easy to grip and pour. Small strip type rectangular label paper label with small medallion type stamp showing the visage of the august personage Simon Ford. A larger rectangular paper label with attractive graphics tells you about the wild, fresh blackthorn berries among other things.
Final Thoughts: Try this against a number of its competitors – you should be able to find 1/2 pints of the cheap stuff in any low-end liquor store as most of it is an at-best bathtub version and at worst chemical candy. If you are serious about your bar ingredients you need to make this your sloe gin of choice for your bar. Will change your mind about Sloe Gin – Especially if you live in America where Sloe Gin become truly awful for decades. We greet the turnaround with hope !
Nicely done website loads fast, easy-to-navigate, and clean design. Interesting notes about the fine points of gin and the botanicals involved – so far no mention of the Sloe Gin yet though