My exploration of Irish gin continues. This time we’re headed to Donegal, and An Dulaman Gin. Much like Dingle, there’s a higher purpose here because whilst they have gin available, and a blended whiskey named Silkie, Sliabh Liag Distillers are in the process of building a distillery that will allow them to craft Irish whiskey in Donegal too.
For now, while the distillery is being built, a stone’s throw away An Dulaman Gin is being distilled already, and it’s giving just a hint of what is to come. So let’s look at the gin from the coast of Ireland.
An Dulaman is the first gin distilled in Donegal, and the team behind it want it to reflect the country in which it’s made. It takes it’s name not only from an Irish folk song, but also one of the seaweeds that features in it’s botanicals. Ireland is known for it’s green and lush countryside, and the coastline is no different. The botanicals include five local seaweeds (dulaman, sugar kelp, carrageen moss, dulse, pepper dulse) and six more traditional botanicals (juniper, orange, lemon, coariander, angelica and cassia). All the botanicals, bar the carrageen, are macerated and distilled directly in their still Meabh, the carrageen is vapour infused. It’s then cut to a 43.2% ABV, and bottled in 500ml bottles, said to be reminiscent of those found along the coastline from the wrecks of the Spanish Armada.
I must admit, the bottles design and style, really appeal to me, and deepen the feeling of where the gin is from, even down to the batch numbers, which are linked to lunar cycles.
Onto tasting. Neat, on the nose is that copper pot still sweetness, juniper, coriander, tickle of pepper. On the palate, it’s got a soft sweet mouthfeel, peppery at the back of the palate, but lots of round sweetness, some earthiness, herbal notes and salinity.
In a G&T, the nose has the same earthiness with a juniper, and a distinctive ‘seaside’ scent. The palate is slightly salty, slightly sweet, juniper, angelica and whispers of the sea.
In short? I love this, and it’s one that I’m not sharing. I can see it working well in a balanced Martini, the saltiness in a Negroni would be something a little special, and in a G&T it’s delicious.
I absolutely can’t wait to see what else they create in their stills in the months and years to come.