If you haven’t already noticed (where have you been hiding?), there is a serious gin phenomenon sweeping the country at present that been building for the last two, or more years. So much so, that almost every region in Ireland has its own Gin, from An Dúalamán, in Co. Donegal to Beara, in Co. Cork
Whether it’s a gin inspired by great Irish literature, one produced using innovative techniques, or a gin that sources ingredients from the Irish terrain; gin has most definitely pushed its spirit sister vodka to the wayside and is continuing to supersede all expectations
This St. Patrick’s Day, you can patriotically celebrate with a locally produced Irish gins. The team from the Celtic Whiskey Shop are taking us on a Ginspired Tour of Ireland ahead of Ireland’s largest gin event – Gin Experience Dublin April 6th and 7th at The Printworks, Dublin Castle where you can sip and sample the gins below – Sláinte!
Silver Spear Irish Gin reigns proudly from Carlow and is crafted by Smyth & O’Reilly Artisan Irish Distillers at the foot of Mount Leinster. Embracing their historic surroundings,
this gin was fourteen months in the making after over 200 different versions.
Ireland’s real capital, Cork, boasts an array of different gins including Blacks Irish Gin, Beara Ocean Gin, Garnish Island Gin and the soon to launch Minke Irish Gin, to mention a few. So whether you’re starting or finishing the Wild Atlantic Way, these gins are all inspired by their picturesque surroundings!
Taking inspiration from the Armada shipwreck and Donegal’s rich maritime heritage is An Dúlamán. The Sliabh Liag Distillery has captured “Draíocht na Farraige” — magic of the sea — by foraging five local seaweeds as well as six other botanicals.
Where to beGIN in Co.Down? Home to at least four different gins — Copeland Gin, Shortcross, Echlinville and Feckin Irish Gin. These bottles are all very different in style and content, from fusing locally-sourced fruits to aromatic flavours to making gin from farm to glass — we’re looking to comparing these at Gin Experience Dublin!
Named after Dublin’s famous Ha’penny Bridge, both the Ha’penny Gin’s label and liquid draw inspiration from Victorian Dublin. Hand-picked flora from the walled gardens in Phoenix Park make up just some of the thirteen Victorian botanicals in this gin
Created to honour the iconic author, James Joyce Gin is a beautifully crafted gin which echoes the lively streets of Dublin and its world-renowned literature. Using nine botanicals, notes of bay leaf, heather and clove can be detected which work perfectly with any premium tonic, a slice of fresh orange and lots of ice!
Hailing from the beautiful land surrounding Lough Erne is Boatyard Double & Old Tom Gin. For the signature expression, juniper berries are treated in a special Dutch process whereby double contact with the spirit is achieved, hence ‘Double Gin’. The Old Tom on the other hand has been matured in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels and sweetened with local honey.
A gin suitable for any Galway Girl (or Gentleman), Galway Gin uses fresh dillisk from the Galway Bay. This is a really different gin, one that you’ll remember for its perfect balance of citrus fruit!
Winner of the Best Irish Gin at the Irish Whiskey Awards last year is Dingle Gin from the Kingdom. A true London Dry style gin were all the botanicals are 100% Irish. Perfect with lots of ice, a wedge of orange, a sprinkle of juniper berries and premium tonic!
‘From our Field to Your Glass’ is the ethos of Ballykeefe Distillery located in The Marble County. Their award-winning Master Distiller has hand-blended twelve botanicals from pink grapefruit to cassia bark to create Ballykeefe Extra Dry Irish Gin that has plenty of citrus flavour and a little spice!
Distilled in Ballinakil in Laois, is Brennan’s Old House Irish Gin. Diversifying part of their farm, Brennan’s gin shares residence with a herd of 50 cows. Taking inspiration from the surrounding meadows, this gin has sweet berry and lemon citrus flavours.
The Shed Distillery by P.J Rigney produces 2 iconic gins – Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin and Von Hallers Gin. Both with memorable blue bottles and exquisite flavours but with two different inspirations. Gunpowder gets its name from the Chinese Gunpowder tea leaf which is a vital ingredient in the recipe. Von Hallers contains rare and hand-picked German botanicals.
Listoke 1777 Gin combines traditional gin botanicals such as juniper, coriander and angelica root with locally-sourced botanicals. A distillery which is also home to Ireland’s first Gin School, where visitors can learn how to make their own gin; from the careful selection of botanicals to the distillation of their own unique blend — a must stop at Gin Experience Dublin!
Produced by an award winning Gin maker, Robert Castell, Conncullin Gin contains a variety of Irish botanicals. Lough Conn and Lough Cullin are this gin’s namesake and the Connacht Distillery’s water source.
In the town of Tullamore, a fresh, floral gin called Mór Irish Gin is handcrafted. Changing with the seasons and using water from the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains, no single edition tastes the same! Their limited edition Pineapple Gin is something that needs to be tasted by every ginthusiast!
They enjoy a cup of tea in Waterford, so much so that the Blackwater Distillery created a gin infused with Barry’s Tea! Strawberries from neighbouring Wexford are used in another edition and there’s the Blackwater No.5 gin too of course! The Distillery was also awarded Best Irish Gin at the Irish Whiskey Awards 2016 for their Boyle’s Gin which has fruity notes from Cork apples, Wexford blackcurrants and Waterford elderflower.
Keeping things seasonal, is Wicklow’s Glendalough Gin. Foraging different botanicals depending on the season, there is never any more than 3,000 bottles released. And it doesn’t stop at seasonal gins, Glendalough have continued to push the envelope with their Wild Botanical Gin and limited edition Ginteresting series — a Dillisk gin, a Sloe gin and a Beech Leaf gin.
Bonac 24 is a neighbour in Wicklow, playing ode to time spent in the Hamptons, known as ‘Bonac’ by one of the founders. 24 refers to the amount of attempts it took to get the recipe just right – they don’t do things by half measures in the Garden of Ireland!
Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green on Dublin’ Dawson Street is a multi award winning retailer and a mecca for any whiskey, wine or spirits lover. The store stocks a superb variety of Irish whiskey including many rare and exclusive bottlings. Expert staff serve up free whiskey tastings all day every day, and are on hand to offer any assistance you may need to purchase your favourite tipple. The store hosts a variety of exciting whiskey tastings each month.
Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder Killarney is home to one of Ireland’s most expansive whiskey ranges, stocking an enormous selection of Irish and international whiskey, creative cocktails, Irish craft beers & spirits. Irish Whiskey Experience hosts a range whiskey masterclasses in Killarney and Dublin.