A Golden Ticket to Glendalough

We tuck a golden ticket in one random member’s Gin of the Month box every month, but in January this glimmering prize was a gateway to a once-in-a-lifetime trip: an all-expenses-paid visit to the beautiful valley of Glendalough, the home of our January Gin of the Month. Meet Treva and Roger, and learn all about their trip to glorious Glendalough!

Roger Treva Geraldine visit Glendalough Gin Distillery Tour collecting botanicals in baskets

Just an hour drive south of Dublin is a beautiful wilderness replete with crystal lakes, wild herbs and – of course – an amazing local gin distillery. This beautiful place is the Glendalough Valley, home of the Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin.

In April, Craft Gin Club members Treva and Roger took an all-expenses-paid trip to this gin lover’s wonderland. The lucky recipients of January’s glorious Golden Ticket, they spent two wonderful days meeting the Glendalough team, foraging for wild botanicals, exploring Dublin and, of course, enjoying lots of fabulous gin!

As Treva says: “Both of us had a great time and enjoyed meeting Gary, Geraldine and Rowdy.  Everyone was so friendly and we both learned so much.”

Their journey began early in the morning, when they boarded a flight to fair Dublin. There they were met by the Glendalough team and driven to the distillery, where they met resident botanical forager Geraldine for a once-in-a-lifetime walk through the wilds of Glendalough, foraging baskets in hand.

“Treva and Roger were such a great couple,” says Gary McLoughlin of Glendalough Distillery. “It was our pleasure to show them around our distillery and the Garden of Ireland –aka County Wicklow, our stomping ground! We got some great weather for seeing the Glendalough's monastic site, the Glendalough Valley and its surrounding hills.”

In the valley they collected an amazing array of wild botanicals, which they brought back to Glendalough’s master distiller, Rowdy, and his copper still, affectionately called Kathleen.

Glendalough copper gin still adding botanicals

“Rowdy was charming and it was very interesting to hear about the process of making the gin and explaining how ‘Kathleen’ turns the alcohol, juniper berries and wild botanicals into such a lovely product,” Treva says. “We enjoyed the samples of some of the other gins they have produced – the sloe gin particularly!”

After their gin-making experience, Treva and Roger were ferried back to Dublin for a fantastic dinner, followed by a restful night’s sleep in a top-quality hotel. After breakfast the next morning they hopped on a sightseeing bus to explore Ireland’s beautiful capital city.

“It was rather cold sitting up top,” Treva laughs, “but we saw most of the city this way. We told everyone we met about Glendalough Gin and spread the word of its unique approach to gin making.”

After their bus tour, Roger and Treva stopped in at our January Gin Joint JT Pimms for a winter warmer: a delicious Sloe Gin Hot Toddy, followed by a Glendalough Old Fashioned. It was a fitting end to a fabulous trip.

Gary says, “We really enjoyed Treva & Roger's company and were delighted to hear they enjoyed more Irish hospitality in Drury Buildings and in JT Pimms – along with some fine Glendalough cocktails of course!”

Treva says, “Overall it was a very busy but enjoyable 48 hours! We will continue to share the story with friends and family, look forward to following the progress of Glendalough and will definitely be back!”

Sláinte, Roger and Treva!