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, near the Sliabh Liag Cliffs.
The Sliabh Liag Distillery will officially launch An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin this weekend, on Friday 27th October. An Dúlamán is inspired by the Donegal coast and the ingredients found around the Sliabh Liag peninsula.
The new gin’s name comes from the traditional song Dúlamán na Binne Bhuí, translated as Collecting Seaweed from the Yellow Cliffs, which was sung by the famous Donegal band Clannad, among others.
The inspiration for An Dúlamán came about during a foraging seaweed trip in Donegal, as James Doherty explains. “My wife Moira was out picking Dillisk (Palmaria palmata) 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 Gin has a recipe unique to the gin category. The coast around the Sliabh Liag peninsula has long held a rich bounty for the shore gatherer and, in An Dúlamán, that knowledge and some modern innovation have brought a unique “umami” twist to the world of gin.
“An Dúlamán is made using only the finest Donegal Sweet Kombu (Sugar Kelp), Dillisk (Dulse), Pepper Dulse, Carrageen Moss and Channel Wrack”, adds James. “The Pepper Dulse, sometimes known as the “truffle of the sea” is the most sensitive of these coastal treasures and can only be harvested on a full moon when the tides and the wild Atlantic work in our favour”.
“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.
James knows the drinks industry well having held senior positions with major drinks suppliers SABMiller in Asia, Foster’s in Australia and William Grant & Sons. He and his wife Moira are joined by James Keith, the Hughes family, Dom De Lorenzo and John Davidson in their mission to reclaim the distilling heritage of Donegal.
“The artisanal gin category is exploding and with Donegal officially the coolest place on the planet”, say Moira. “We feel it’s an exciting time for the county and we want to thank everyone from the local community and further afield who helped us along the way.”
James believes the new distillery will boost employment in the local community, while also bringing more visitors to the area. “We have 5 employees today and with construction on the main Sliabh Liag Distillery, we will create employment for up to 40 people once the distillery and visitor centre is fully operational. The Sliabh Liag Cliffs are Donegal’s main visitor attraction with almost 200,000 visitors each year.
|Impression of the Sliabh Liag Distillery, when all the work has finished|
Food & Drink Tourism in Ireland is an area of huge growth and there’s been an explosion of craft gin in recent years. Construction of the new distillery will begin next year. The company has a portfolio of four spirits brands and has already launched its first expression, an independent bottling of Irish Whiskey named The Silkie.
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 hot wax sealed and the batch numbers are linked to the lunar phases!
The launch of An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin takes place on Friday 27th October, from 8pm – 10.30pm at An Dúlamán Gin Palace, Sliabh Liag Distillery, Line Road, Carrick, Co. Donegal.
For more information visit www.sliabhliagdistillery.com
Follow An Dúlamán Gin & Silkie Whiskey on Twitter here:
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For further enquiries contact the distillery at email@example.com.