Is this a Bumper Year for Sloes?

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The Cumbrian

Full Member
Nov 10, 2007
2,073
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The Rainy Side of the Lakes.
I've been based near Leicester for the last few months, and I found a load of blackthorn trees lining a bridleway. I don't know whether it's a north / south thing (as I've only collected sloes in Cumbria prior to this), but I've never seen as many sloes in my life. In places they're almost clustered like grapes, and I've been able to wander along just taking the easy pickings. I've got four bags full in the freezer now, and a busy weekend ahead making sloe gin.

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bobnewboy

Native
Jul 2, 2014
1,125
628
North West Somerset
There are plenty about down here in the south west, possibly more than last year, but no frosts to sweeten them up naturally. Well none so far, the weather has been quite mild. We already have some sloe gin and raspberry gin ready for the festival of the merchants ;) , but I might try making some test pots of sloe jelly, following Hugh’s video on YouTube. I might gather some and freeze them to kick off the sweetening process.
 
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baggins

Full Member
Apr 20, 2005
1,514
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Coventry (and up trees)
It's one of the best years I've seen for a good few years in the west mids. And after last week's frosts, now have several ltrs of very sloe gin on the go ( leave it for at least a year. Last years just about ready). Plus some sloe and crab apple jelly.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,558
2,278
McBride, BC
Bumper crop all over as you all describe yet I hear nothing about fermentation. Bump up the sugar to S.G. 1.095, fix the tannin and yeast nutrient levels, maybe a nice burgundy yeast and let 'er rip. No? Let the yeasty-beasties prepare your Solstice quaff.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,622
5,002
Mid Wales
Well, bottling the 2021 Sloe Gin I just had to taste it of course :) - very nice.

However, I have two bottles of 2020 Sloe Gin left (we made quite a bit last year). Purely in the interest of science, I decided to compare.

First the colour - 2021 - bright and deep red; 2020 - tawny, almost amber.

Taste - 2021 fruity sharp with distinct sloe taste; 2020 - rounded, no edge at all, only a slight sloe taste, delicious.

Conclusion: I shall definitely be putting some of the 2021 away for Christmas next year :) I suspect we shall not have any 2020 left by the end of the celebrations.
 
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Bathtub

New Member
May 27, 2021
3
1
53
Rugby
Warwickshire here, we have Blackthorn around the field hedges, poor harvest last winter, this year it's mental, bumper crops of fat sloes all over the place. Good year for brambles as well.
 

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