Strange name. “Distilled”? One would expect gin to be distilled. And this comes not from a producer called Sloane but from Toorank Distilleries. They decided to pay tribute to Sir Hans Sloane, the Irish-born physician, botanist and namesake of London’s Sloane Square who, among other things, granted the land in the mid-18th century that contains the Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s famous botanical centre. Gin is, after all, made with so-called botanicals, the plant ingredients, such as juniper, that impart its flavour.
Where other gins steep all botanicals together in a tank, Toorank steeps each of its nine aromatic ingredients one by one, marrying the separate distillates later to create the final blend. Supposedly this creates a more complex or refined product. Toorank also uses fresh citrus instead of the usual dried peels, and you can taste that essence, to be sure. The gin is silky-sweet at first, not quite as dry as the standard London Dry style, with a good level of juniper anchoring the flavour. It also displays a welcome spicy edge to balance the fruit and an earthy, cereal-like quality on the finish. It’s a fine gin for a classic negroni cocktail – equal parts gin, Campari liqueur and red vermouth. $37.50 in Que.