I knew McHenry Sloe Gin was going to be worth waiting for. Chatting with bartenders about Australian gins, they’d wax lyrical, and lament the emptiness of their bottles. At The Lui Bar, the joyful expressions on the team’s faces when I told them more was being distilled was a lovely thing to see.
Sloes are seasonal, so Sloe Gin is a limited release. The Tasmanian sloe bushes (blackthorn) were introduced by settlers so while not native, they obviously like the Tasmanian climate. Bill McHenry harvests the berries by hand which can be a prickly business!
Visually the McHenry & Sons Sloe Gin seems paler than other sloe gins I’ve tried, and it’s certainly less viscous. The initial aroma is slightly woody, (I swear I could smell tobacco).
The other noticeable difference is the lack of sugar. It isn’t as sweet and has a light, dry finish. I can see why it’s so popular with the bartender community. The dryness would lend itself better in cocktails than some of the heavier, sweeter sloe gins around.
It’s an extremely ‘sippable’ gin but you shouldn’t be afraid to mix into cocktails as you would a regular gin. There are plenty of Sloe Gin cocktail recipes about and the McHenry does well in a Sloe Gin Fizz.