Monday, July 17, 2017

Glendalough Distillery Announces U.S. Launch of Wild Botanical Gin (and Review)

Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin

From our friends at Glendalough Distillery...

Ireland’s First Craft Distillery Launches Wild Botanical Gin, Foraged from the Wicklow Mountains, the Garden of Ireland

Glendalough Distillery is thrilled to announce the U.S. launch of Wild Botanical Gin. The founders of Glendalough Distillery set out to revive the heritage of craft distilling in Ireland, creating spirits that are true to the country’s history. Their Wild Botanical Gin is the latest addition to their award-winning portfolio. This unique gin is made from wild flora, foraged in the mountains around the distillery. Each drop is a taste of their home in the Wicklow mountains, each sip will take you there.

Scroll down for our review.

The newly-debuted gin from Glendalough Distillery, known for their innovative poitins and whiskeys, is available in the United States for the first time in June 2017. Glendalough’s Wild Botanical Gin is a thoughtfully-crafted, small batch spirit that captures the true essences of Glendalough by using freshly foraged wild ingredients, sourced directly from the surrounding mountains by the distillery’s forager and Wicklow native, Geraldine Kavanagh. Kavanagh devotes hours to wandering Wicklow’s bountiful natural forests to find the freshest wild botanicals possible.

The fresh botanicals are added to the still within hours after being hand-picked, allowing their essential oils to be captured. The heavier, more sturdy botanicals macerate in their traditional copper pot still. The lighter botanicals are suspended in baskets to allow the vapors to pass through and take the more delicate flavors out gently. The Glendalough stillman, Rowdy Rooney, distills it painstakingly slowly to tease out the more shy flavors. He determines each cut-points batch-by-batch through smell and taste. Nothing is timed, or automated as each batch is done as if it was the first.

Bar Deco's Glendalough All Spice Gin Ricky

It really is a multi-layered tasting experience representing an entire year in Glendalough Valley. On the nose, the gin has fresh spring notes with juniper, citrus and pine, a forest clearing in bloom. The taste is cool and mellow at first, rushing to nectarous summer flowers and hints of autumn fruits finally giving way to warm spice. The warm winter spices round up the long, sylvan finish to a four-season experience of the Valley of Glendalough, the Garden of Ireland.

“We’re so excited to have the opportunity to share a taste of our home and bring it across an ocean for others to enjoy,” said Glendalough Distillery co-founder and USA brand manager Donal O’Gallachoir. “They call Wicklow ‘The Garden of Ireland,’ and with one sip of this gin you can see why. This not simply a drink made in Ireland, it’s a drink made from Ireland. People pinpoint tastes and smells by past experience. As soon as I take the lid off this gin, I have a rush of memories of the place I grew up. I love that I can bring that across an ocean for others to enjoy.”

In advance of its USA launch, Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin has picked up GOLD at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. A timely testament to the quality of this great Gin!

Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin will be available at leading bars and restaurants beginning on Thursday, June 1. The Wild Botanical Gin will also be available in 750 ML bottles online at and at top retailers across the US.

Now available locally at...

The Heights
Left Door
The Passenger
and more to come

A-1 Liquors
Batch 13
Pearsons Wine Annex
S and R Liquors
Wardman Wines

About Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin:
Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin from Glendalough Distillery uses fresh botanicals (never dried) from the valley of Glendalough. Classic gin botanicals like juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, licorice root, licorice bark, fresh organic lemons form the base of this gin. Some of the fresh botanicals included included are fresh pine shoots, watermint, sweet woodruff, elderflower, rose petals, ox eye daisies, mountain heather flowers and fraughan berries (wild blueberries), sloe berries and pine. The fresh botanicals are carefully and sustainably foraged by Geraldine Kavanaugh and then slow-distilled by stillman, Rowdy Rooney. For additional information on the Wild Botanical Gin, please visit

About Glendalough Distillery:
Determined to carve their own way, five friends from Dublin and Wicklow founded Glendalough Distillery to revive Ireland’s lost heritage of great spirits distillation and create innovative, exciting brands. Together, they created Ireland’s first craft distillery in Glendalough, harnessing fourteen centuries of Irish spirits-making tradition that stretches back to monks who made the world’s first distilled spirit - poitín - as early as 548 A.D. On every Glendalough Distillery bottle, the image of St. Kevin represents the distillery’s embrace of this ancient heritage and the notoriously independent Irish character. The Glendalough Distillery range includes two poitíns, 7- and 13-year old single malt Irish whiskeys, two seasonal, botanical gins, and the new Double Barrel Irish Whiskey.

Mini Review

Our Verdict?
Between you and me, I hadn't had a sip of gin in almost a decade; but my family actually grew up in County Wicklow, so one could argue I was born to try it. Local ties aside, Glendalough's Wild Botanical Gin rivals Martin Miller's for best I've ever had. It burns ever so slightly (even less so with tonic water) and has a variety of subtle tastes such as lemon, licorice and raspberry, which become more detectable/distinctive after a second (or third) glass. As for smell, think pine tree, with a hint of apple (or a combination of apple and berries.) It's not as strong as other gins (41% APV) which I prefer; and it's blessed with history, courtesy of the bottle's front emblem... St. Kevin of Glendalough, whose life story is guaranteed to entertain in between sips. What more could you ask for?

Grade: B+