A unique maritime gin has been created in Donegal, containing the goodness of the surrounding sea.
Sliabh Liag Distillery will officially launch An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin this weekend in South Donegal – by the very sea that inspired its creation.
An Dúlamán is inspired by the Donegal coast and the ingredients found around the Sliabh Liag peninsula. The official launch takes place on Friday 27th October with an event celebrating “draíocht na farraige”, the magic of the sea.
The taste (we’ve had a sip at the Taste of Donegal Food Festival and can confirm it’s good), is a distinctively natural blend. The ingredients from the sea are so unique that some can only be harvested on a full moon – it’s just that sophisticated.
Sliabh Liag Distillery is Donegal’s first distillery in 175 years and the directors, James and Moira Doherty, are passionate about creating brands inspired by local lore and legends, rooted in the Donegal Gaeltacht, where the new distillery will be built on the slopes in the lee of Sliabh Liag Cliffs.
The gin’s name comes from the traditional song Dúlamán na binne bhuí, made famous by Altan, Clannad and other famous Irish singers and songwriters.
The inspiration for An Dúlamán came about during a trip foraging seaweed in Donegal, as James explains: “My wife Moira was out picking Dulse with my aunt at Muckross Head close to Killybegs and she asked the question: ‘has anyone ever put this into alcohol?’.
“The seeds of an idea were born that day and we’re delighted to be able to share the result this weekend.”
“An Dúlamán is made using only the finest Donegal Sweet Kombu (Sugar Kelp), Dillisk (Dulse), Pepper Dulse, Carrageen Moss and Channel Wrack.
“Pepper Dulse, sometimes known as the “truffle of the sea” is the shyest of these coastal treasures and can only be harvested on a full moon when the tides and the wild Atlantic work in our favour,” James adds.
“Once collected, each botanical is treated on its own merits. Some are dried to intensify their flavours and others frozen to capture the delicate umami essence. Following this, some of the ingredients go into Méabh, our hand beaten copper pot still and we add the more challenging ones into the flavour basket to be distilled into An Dúlamán, Irish Maritime Gin.
“The result of this devilishly narrow cut is a taste that captures fresh juniper, an umami richness and the dry tang of sea breeze,” says James.
An Dúlamán is presented in a dark bottle reminiscent of those found on the Armada wrecks along the coast of Donegal. The bottle’s labelling in drawn by a local artist and inspired by the Book of Kells. Each bottle is wax sealed and the batch number is linked to the lunar phases.
For more information on An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin or Silkie whiskey visit www.sliabhliagdistillery.com