On 16th February, Glendalough, Ireland’s first craft distillery, released its ‘All Seasons’ wild botanical gin and LDN Life went along to taste it (Lot’s of it) and find out more.
We arrived at Millroys of Soho and had to walk through a bookcase, down the stairs into the Vault, cutest of bars with a speakeasy feal. We were at the back in the tiny barrel room and running a bit late. There was little to do other than sit, enjoy and drink all the gin we were given.
Glendalough distillery is located in the Glendalough valley in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. During the evening we learnt about its unique setting, and that the founders have always looked to the landscape that surrounds them for inspiration when it comes to their products. So when it came to producing a gin, they have been taking a rather unusual route, producing a number of seasonal gins to reflect the way that the valley grows and evolves over the course of a year.
These seasonal offerings to the gin gods have gained a cult following, and helped to put the distillery on the map, with the brand gaining a huge following from both the bartenders and gin enthusiast communities alike.
A side effect of that was to bring them to the point of releasing this new gin. Sure the seasonal gins made for interesting gin and tonics, but when it came to cocktails, the requirement for bars to change their cocktail listings for each seasonal release was a big ask. Though a bit lazy if you ask us 😉
The solution, an all-year gin with the essence and fun of the seasonal gins, and so the team took up the task of creating of a single gin that reflected Glendalough and also contained elements of all four of the seasons in the valley.
Thankfully they have two trump cards, Master distiller Rowdy Rooney and tthe distillery also has its own forager. She is also County Wicklow native and hugely knowledgeable about the landscape and botanicals which are added to the still mere hours after being picked, the botanicals are infused in neutral spirit overnight before distillation the following day.
The result is the new Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin, built on a base of classic gin botanicals alongside freshly foraged wild botanicals from the valley, designed to create a snapshot of Glendalough year-round.
An accomplished gin, which starts with spring-like notes on the nose, distinctly juniper and citrus tones, before moving through to summer flowers, then autumn fruits.
So what did we think?? A wonderful gin, with a wonderful story which helps it stand apart from the rest of the premium gin pack. I even have a visit to the area on my short list! Oh and if you want somewhere to try it. Head (18 minutes on the fast train) to Surbiton and visit No 97, not only do they serve this fabulous gin, but they have lots more gin and fantastic food.
Also Available at Millroys of Soho and expect to see it in other good stockists and Supermarkets