Created using botanicals from the harsh Northumberland moors, this versatile sloe gin can be a summer tipple or a winter warmer depending on how you use it.
A Little Bit of Background
Moorland Spirit Co. makes Hepple Sloe Gin on an estate in the wild moors of Northumberland. The area is one of Britain’s last untouched wildlife sanctuaries and is home to the small distillery which makes the gin, released May 2019.
What sets the range of Hepple gins apart from others is the pioneering Triple Technique. This sees distillation in three separate phases.
Firstly they perform Supercritical Extraction on the juniper and sloe berries, usually reserved for the making of fine perfumes, for an unrivalled depth of flavour.
Next the ingredients are distilled in a Copper Pot Still for smoothness and finally the gin passes through a Glass Vacuum to keep the gin vibrant and fresh.
Solid, sturdy and simple, the bottle doesn’t try anything too fancy, bringing to mind old-fashioned medicinal or laboratory vessels. Interestingly we can imagine this sloe gin having healing properties as part of hot toddy to ward off colds.
The label depicts key botanicals, drawn spikily, capturing the harsh moorland environment on which they grow.
- Green Juniper
- Douglas Fir
- Sloe Berries
- Hawthorn Berries
- Blackcurrant Leaf
- Amalfi Lemon
- Coriander Seeds
- Fennel Seeds
- Orris Root
On the Nose
It’s a complex initial nose; there’s a hint of sweetness from the rich sloe berries, a suggestion of earthy, spicy juniper and undertones of harsh, green vegetation.
Before we get to the taste something unexpected happened as the dark purple ribena coloured gin was poured over ice. The colour transformed into a striking sunset red/orange as it hit the rocks.
This revelation was accompanied by the hint of spice from the nose flourishing into heat at the back of the tongue, nicely complimenting the sweet, syrupy taste of the gin.
At a reasonably strong 32% alcohol content it was potent yet perfectly and pleasantly sippable.
After splashing in some Indian Tonic Water, the development of a sharp, crispness replaced the heat from drinking neat with a lingering aniseed aftertaste.
An experimentation with pink grapefruit tonic released the citrus notes of the Amalfi lemon, instantly transforming into an easy-to-drink summer tipple.
Hepple doesn’t re-invent the wheel when it comes to sloe gin but the ingenuity and complexity of the distillation process produces intense flavours which are noticeably fuller than other sloe gins.
You could have a lot of fun, trying different mixers and teasing out the variety of botanicals just waiting to tickle your taste buds.
Hepple Sloe Gin could easily be incorporated into a light and refreshing summer cocktail or as part a comforting winter warmer. As such, we recommend stocking up your drinks cabinet with a bottle of this versatile, full flavoured and complex fruity sloe gin.
You can pick up a bottle of Hepple Sloe and Hawthorn Gin from Master of Malt for £28.95