Monkey 47 Sloe Gin (500ml)
A drier-styled sloe gin, maintaining Monkey 47's trademark character throughout.
Sloe Gins have followed the resurgence of their London Dry relatives with new releases appearing from around the globe; including Australia and Germany. If you're new to this quintessentially British recipe, you'll soon realise the two are related by suffix alone, with the majority of brands available producing a sometimes overly sweet, liqueur-like style. There are a few exceptions. Monkey 47 is one.
Sloes (Prunus spinosa) are a close cousin of another stone fruit: the plum, with which they share its reputation for reducing inflammation, calming upset stomachs and soothing kidney and bladder ailments. Typically the berries are picked in the early Winter months and combined with gin and sugar to allow a maceration infusion to occur. The ratio of sugar to gin will depend on each producer and the properties of the fruit's harvest, accounting for varying levels of sweetness and the inherit astringency of the sloe.
As always, the quality and style of gin will play a significant role towards the end flavour. Traditional recipes call for the juniper heavy 'London Dry'. With this new-world approach, the complex yet quirky Monkey 47 Gin has been combined with handpicked sloe berries from the Black forest in Germany. After several good stirs, the final mix is left for a four week maturation period in earthenware containers. During this time, sediment settles to the bottom of the tank. The team employ a hydropress to extract further liquid from the sediment without damaging the berries. The macerate is then drawn out from the top. Many will be happy to know the end result remarkably maintains Monkey 47's trademark character throughout.
Other reviews... Distinctly drier and spicier than classic sloe gins with pronounced freshly sawn spruce woodiness. 29% Alc./Vol. 4.5 stars - diffordsguide.com