Glendalough Distillery’s Wild Botanical Irish Gin Captures Magic in the Valley


The valley of Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland, is a magical place. Called “the Garden of Ireland” for its lush landscape dotted by lakes, streams, and Ireland’s tallest waterfall, it was chosen by St. Kevin as the site for a monastery in the 6th century. More than a thousand years later, the valley is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland and remains every bit as enchanting as it was in St. Kevin’s time. Glendalough Valley is now also home to a celebrated craft distillery that uses its abundant indigenous plants to give Glendalough Wild Botanical Irish Gin its award-winning flavour.

Glendalough Distillery is dedicated to making luxury craft spirits inspired by the landscape and lore of its home in the Wicklow mountains. Starting with poitín, the famed traditional Irish moonshine, Glendalough has since expanded its range to include oak-aged Irish whiskeys and, most recently, a range of distinctively flavoured Irish gins. With bright notes of juniper, citrus, and pine, Glendalough Wild Botanical Irish Gin evokes summer flowers and autumn fruits in every sip, with a long, warm finish of winter spices. Glendalough Wild Rose Irish Gin, its rose-hued sibling, offers notes of lemon, blood orange, juniper, and rose, with a bright, citrusy taste and a long, floral finish. As deeply rooted in the rich soil of the valley as St. Kevin’s monastery, these spirits are the result of a unique collaboration between the distillery’s dedicated craftspeople.

As Ireland’s only full-time distillery forager, Geraldine Kavanagh roams the valley collecting sorrel, elderflower, fir boughs, and the other native botanicals that give Glendalough Wild Botanical Irish Gin its distinct character. “The inspiration for the flavour of our gin comes from the scents, sights, and tastes of Glendalough, and it’s my job to put that essence of place into the bottle,” she says. “The ingredients that we use grow in the wild and we take a lot of care to ensure that we don’t adversely affect the areas we forage from.”

With Kavanagh’s carefully selected ingredients in hand, Ciarán “Rowdy” Rooney, Glendalough Distillery’s head distiller, then uses small-batch slow-distillation to conjure their delicate flavours. As a result of these efforts, each bottle of Glendalough gin is a loving tribute to the place that inspired it, both inside and out. In addition to its verdant flavours, the Glendalough gin label celebrates its origins with details including a golden silhouette of St. Kevin, along with the signatures of Kavanagh and Rooney. The bottle itself is also decorated with subtle tributes to Glendalough’s singular origins, with seven Celtic crosses (for the seven churches of Glendalough), and the texture of Kavanagh’s foraging basket embossed on its surface.

Since its launch, Glendalough gin has established itself as one of the world’s most unique craft gins, winning the Gold award at the World Gin Masters, among many other accolades. It’s easy to understand why. Whether enjoyed in a classic gin and tonic, a negroni, or a raspberry fizz, Glendalough gin captures the magic of its home in each bottle.

Discover more at glendaloughdistillery.com.

Photos courtesy of Glendalough Distillery.