The other day, whilst DBS set about unpacking a box of very kindly donated sloe gin for our recent tasting – and whilst I sat trying to make sense of a knitting pattern – he lifted a handsome miniature out of the box and smiled at me, as if to say, “You’ll like that!”.
The box was from SLOEmotion, a family-run company who make sloe based liqueurs in the Howardian Hills, near York, and the miniature contained their Sloe Whisky.
I have to admit to being immediately drawn in with anticipation at what this liqueur was going to taste like. The small, slightly curved bottle reminded me of my hip flask and the bright, straight-forward label suggested a neat mixture of old and new, with its vintage layout and modern typefaces.
We quickly established that this was unlike any of the other whisky liqueurs that we have ever tried: its nose was rich and fruity, like Christmas cake, with hints of cherry and marzipan.
On its own, it started out like a good (in my opinion) sloe gin, with a full-bodied fruitiness that isn’t swamped by sweetness and edges close to tartness, before transforming into an oak-y warmth. Whilst it initially seemed sharp, the sharpness disappeared quickly and the whisky flavours at the end were considerably more subtle than the corresponding flavours you would find at the end of your average sloe gin.
One of recommended cocktails on SLOEmotion’s website containing the Sloe Whisky is the “Sloe Whisker”: Sloe Whisky, ginger beer and lime. We decided to give this a try and found it to be a very pleasant drink indeed. The ginger beer adds just enough sweetness to balance out any sharpness in the liqueur, effectively taming it; and, depending on which ginger beer you use, it also adds a wonderful, fiery finish. I did find that some of the more subtle whisky flavours were easily overpowered by the first ginger beer that we tried, but I found an alternative much more palatable and so would recommend experimentation!
Upon reflection, I think that this liqueur works well both when mixed and on its own, but I personally enjoyed it most in the latter form and at room temperature, as a fruity alternative to an evening glass of whisky.
– Mrs. B
SLOEmotion Sloe Whisky is available from their site £15.95 for 35cl.