Ferdinand’s were the first to use quince instead of sloes in their gin. When we were asked what kind of gin it is, we always said that it was similar to sloe gin, different only in the kind of fruit used. To the Gin were added quinces and a little sugar to help bring out the flavours. The mixture is then left for some time, and filtered at the end of the process. The result is a Gin with a lower alcohol level, due to the juices extracted from the fruit and the characteristic colour of the sloes, or in this case, the quinces.
With the appearance of Whitley Neil Quince, last year, there are now two members of the Quince club. It is still too early to see if Quince Gin will become a classification of its own, but the truth is that the use of quinces is gaining its fans.
Whitley Neil Quince has a few differences when compared to Ferdinand’s and all the Sloe Gins.
Firstly, the 43 vol. alcohol, significantly higher than seen in the other fruit infused gins. Then, the way it is flavoured. It is made through the addition of quince juice and not by infusing the fruit for a period of time. Since it’s not necessary to extract the juice from the fruit, less sugar added.
Whitley Neil Quince is sweet but strong, with a thick texture. The strong flavour of quince, reminiscent of ripe sour apples, is ever present and pushes the juniper to second spot.
With its alcohol grade it can perfectly be used in a Gin and Tonic, but its smoothness and sweetness permits it to be drunk neat, as long as it is cold. Diluting it with lemon or tangerine juice is also a good option.