Glendalough Distillery is located in the lovely Wicklow mountains, about an hour south of Dublin. Glendalough is an Irish word meaning “the glen of two lakes”.
Renowned for its natural, scenic beauty, the area is often referred to as “The Garden of Ireland”. Glendalough is also home to a 6th century monastic settlement founded by St Kevin, a monk whose statue features on their labeling.
Distilling officially began in 2016 after the purchase of a Holstein still from Germany.
While waiting for their own distillate to mature the five founders sourced whiskey from the Cooley Distillery in Louth, but managed to make it their own through maturation and blending. The first of their own whiskey was released in 2019 – a Single Pot Still made from a mash bill of malted and unmalted barley in a 1:2 ratio and matured in bourbon casks for 3 years. It was later moved to virgin Irish oak casks for up to a year. The virgin Irish oak come from naturally fallen trees in the forest surrounding the distillery.
All of Glendalough Distillery’s whiskeys are aged in a variety of casks ranging from traditional American ex-bourbon barrels to Oloroso sherry butts as well as unusual and rare Japanese oak (mizunara) barrels.
The distillery also produces a range of white spirits including a series of seasonal gins. Each of these seasonal gins are made with hand foraged botanicals and reflect the natural change of the local flora. They have a core dry gin and a rose gin also. They also make Poitín, a traditional Irish moonshine that is considered the first distillate produced in Ireland and the father of Irish whiskey.
In December 2019, Mark Anthony Brands International announced that it had purchased the remaining shares in Glendalough Distillery, giving the company complete ownership of the business.