Tasting Notes for Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin
Aroma: Fresh spice and soft pine with a touch of lemondrop and lime zest, it remains consistently earthy with wet grass and muddled mint rounding out the aroma
Taste: Light, peppery heat and an early burst of sweet pine sap. Unusually, no juniper bite, and in short order almost no juniper trace at all. In its place is lemon squeeze and honeydew melon balanced with lightly floral notes and bright wintergreen.
Finish: Warming spice, long and just sooo smooth.
Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin seeks to evoke the aroma, scent and feel of the Wicklow mountains just south of Dublin, Ireland, and the botanicals are all sustainably sourced from the local area by a full time forager. With freshness being a key priority, what is picked goes into the still within hours of foraging. The botanicals are separated into two groups: some botanicals are macerated before distillation; others are suspended in a basket and their flavors are imparted via vapor, then painstakingly slow-distilled to tease out delicate flavours, in very small batches of less than 250 liters. The cut-points are decided batch by batch, by smell and taste (never timed or automated) as if each batch is the first.
Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin features some somewhat unusual floral botanicals. The ox eye daisy is a common roadside weed stateside— even its Latin name a yawn at its quotidian character— Leucanthemum vulgare. When dried ox eye daisies are somewhat bitter and subtly sweetly floral. And then there’s Watermint, which is a weedy, hardy plant with a mint-like character that grows in damp marshes all across Europe. It has a strong mint flavor, somewhat close to peppermint.
Overall, Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin is an intriguing floral/herbal contemporary styled gin, so if that's your thing, then you're in for a treat.
International Wine & Spirit Competition: Gold Medal - 2019
San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Gold Medal - 2017
The Glendalough Distillery was set up in 2011 by a group of friends from Wicklow and Dublin with a passion for reviving the heritage of craft distilling in Ireland. In the 18th & 19th centuries there were over 200 licensed distilleries in Ireland and along with countless unlicensed ones produced diverse styles of poitín, whiskey, gin and even absinthe. Until recently that dropped to a small handful. After many an evening's banter and debate over why there weren't more craft distilleries in the birthplace of distilling, the friends convinced each other to leave the safety of their day jobs, head into the mountains and take a chance on something more meaningful (much like the man on the bottle, St Kevin). Together they built a craft distillery near their favourite spot in those mountains, Glendalough.
Glendalough, or the Glen of two Lakes, is one of the most beautiful, and visited valleys in Ireland. Just south of Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains are renowned for their natural, scenic beauty. The area known as “the garden of Ireland” - a name it lives up to with ease. Glendalough is also renowned for its 6th century monastic settlement founded by St Kevin, a legendary monk and the man on our bottle. Monasteries like Glendalough were the birthplace of distilled drinks.
St Kevin's legacy still stands in stone by the lower lake, and what remains of the monastic settlement, parts of it 14 centuries old, are remarkably intact, and truly awe-inspiring to walk amongst. People have been drawn there for thousands of years. The spectacular scenery and ancient ruins are soul-stirring and inspirational. And their effect never fades no matter how many times you go back.
To make their gins, they forage wild plants from the mountains around the distillery. What's picked goes fresh into the still within hours. All the plants are sustainably foraged by one person, who takes a lot of care that they don't adversely affect the areas they are found in. That means sometimes using scissors rather than picking to make sure roots aren't pulled, or maybe skipping a few before picking the next one, or finding different patches of the same plant, to make sure an area isn't over-foraged. The picked botanicals are painstakingly slow-distilled to tease out delicate flavours, in tiny batches of less than 250 litres. The cut-points are decided batch by batch, by smell and taste (never timed or automated) as if each batch is the first. This brings flavour to a whole other level. The knowledge, experience and man-hours in each bottle are what make this liquid so special.
Producer Glendalough Distillery Style Contemporary Style Gin Volume 70cl ABV 41%