Nose Slight in nature with a faint Riesling fragrance, no less. Oak, berried fruit, gooseberries and blackcurrants are in there. A good, heady aroma.
We’ve harnessed tradition, craft and heritage to capture a millennium and a half of distilling expertise in this ancient and notorious drink. It is carefully crafted from an old poitín recipe using the finest Irish sugar beets and malted barley. It is batch distilled and matured in virgin Irish oak. The result is a smooth but complex mix of malted barley sugars and toasted, woody flavours.
The Mash We craft Glendalough from an old poitín recipe using malted barley and the almost-lost, Irish sugar beet. The barley is malted to form the basis of our mash. The sugar beet is a traditional Irish “break crop” (to rest soil between grazing herds) and was perfect as a starchy, sugary raw material for poitín making. Although the potato became more famous as a poitín ingredient, when the craft was at its peak malted barley was the main ingredient in the mash. It was made this way for a thousand years before potatoes arrived in Ireland.
Distillation Then we ferment for over 72 hours which gives a higher alcohol percentage and a more robust flavor. On top of that, we take higher cut points off the still that give us “heads” and “tails” that are more in line with a whiskey. These heads and tails are the beginnings of what could be called imperfections either side of the “heart” of the batch. But if you’ve the right man on the still, these cut points can be manipulated with precision to create a more complex taste.
Maturation After this delicate distillation process, it’s matured in Irish oak for up to six months. This allows the spirit to interact with the wood, which mellows and smoothens it, giving it that creamy mouthfeel. It also extracts more flavour from the oak. This time it’s the woodier, vanilla oil and slight touches of caramel tones. And the fact that it’s virgin oak, means that it can add flavour
without imparting color.