Sloely does it

January 12th, 2009

Not content with producing some of the finest cocktail bitters available today (which I say both as a slightly biased friend of the company owners, as well as a genuine fan of the products) The Bitter Truth is now expanding its horizons with the launch of two new products – a 24 (yes, twenty four!) year old rye whiskey, which I hope to be able to review soon, and a sloeberry gin.

The Bitter Truth Sloe Gin

The Bitter Truth have actually been producing a sloe gin for the past two years with their 2006 and 2007 vintages, albeit in very limited quantities not widely available to the buying public. For their third vintage they have teamed up with Austrian distiller Hans Reisetbauer to produce a larger run that is still all natural, hand-made using fresh, ripe sloeberries and completely free of artificial ingredients or colourings.

It has a mild but tart sloeberry nose, with a definite juniper background. In the mouth you get an brief initial sweetness followed by a sharp jolt of tart, fresh sloeberry and a lingering juniper note. It has a fairly dry finish, with a mild aromatic flavour lingering on the tongue. Entirely lacking in the sweetness that most commercial sloe gins exhibit, this most reminds me of some small, locally produced sloe gins you sometimes find at farmers markets here in Britain, albeit cleaner and more nuanced.

I’ve grown quite fond of The Bitter Truth Sloe Gin in a simple Gin and Tonic, however when it comes to mixed drinks using sloe gin nothing quite beats the Sloe Gin Fizz

Sloe Gin Fizz

Sloe Gin Fizz

View in: oz | ml | shots

A fizz may seem an odd drink to be enjoying this time of year, but sloe gin allows the drink to be at once refreshing and slightly warming. Adding a touch of Campari to my Sloe Gin Fizzes has become a favourite trick of mine since trying one that did this at Quo Vadis in Soho, however given The Bitter Truth Sloe Gin’s already dry, aromatic edge it doesn’t work quite as well as with Plymouth sloe so I think it is best left out. A delicious mix of sour lemon and tart sloe, beefed up by a touch of extra gin and smoothed out with some sugar and egg, and Sloe Gin Fizz is nothing short of delightful.

The Bitter Truth Sloeberry Blue Gin, along with the rest of the product line, is available worldwide via their online store.

Note: In the interests of full disclosure, the sloe gin reviewed here was supplied to me by The Bitter Truth.

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Posted in Gin, Lemon, Recipes, Reviews, Sloe Gin

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5 responses to “Sloely does it”

  1. Matt Matt says:

    Looking forward to the rye review. I’d love to get my hands on some, but it’s just a bit too expensive.

    I’ve been meaning to order some sloe gin, but never did. Now reading this review make me want it even more.

  2. Lenny Lenny says:

    I got a bottle of the TBT Sloeberry for christmas. I tasted it straight. I was in love within a minute.
    Un(?)fortunatly got a lot of other bottles too. And a hell lot of more wich i gifted to myself ;) . So the Sloe Gin fall of my radar after trying 2 or 3 cocktails with it. After reading your post i was trying a Sloe Fizz this night. A really great drink i was just haveing one more! I thought the Tonic Water would be to heavy for the subtile parts of the Sloe Gin. But it goes perfect with the Tonic even with the Schweppes one. I think i will go back to kitchen to fix another one!

    P.S. Please excuse my english. I will excuse any of your german statements too ;)

  3. Rick Rick says:


    How does this compare with the Plymouth?

  4. Marleigh Marleigh says:

    Sloe gin is a cruel mistress. So jealous. I am dying to try this!

  5. Jay Jay says:

    Lenny – Yeah I didn’t think Sloe Gin and Tonic would work at all, but it was one of the suggested drinks so I gave it a go and it really is superb. No need to excuse your English, it is far better than my German! Mein Deutsch ist nicht zehr gut ;-)

    Rick – I’d say the Plymouth is a touch sweeter, a touch sharper, and not quite as complex. It is still a great sloe gin, but TBT has a wonderful aromatic depth, and freshness, which works great in drinks that feature sloe gin prominently.

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