I first became acquainted with Glendalough Distillery’s spirits in March 2015, when co-owner and brand ambassador Donal O’Gallochoir treated me to an evening of drinks and some old fashioned Irish storytelling. His young distillery was still establishing a foothold in the U.S., but when next I saw Donal, Glendalough’s spirits were already available in 14 states.
Two years later, Glendalough’s range of craft whiskies have become so popular in Boston that I’ve heard people ask whether it’s a local brand. (It’s made in Ireland.)
So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought we’d take a look at one of Glendalough’s signature products and see how it fares in a couple of drinks.
Double Barrel Irish Whiskey
Glendalough’s Double Barrel is a single grain whiskey that spends 3.5 years in bourbon barrels and then 6 months in oloroso sherry casks. It’s a light, sweet, approachable whiskey, but complex enough to appeal to discerning whiskey drinkers. Notes of vanilla, fig, and butterscotch stand out.
Double Barrel is splendid when consumed neat or on the rocks, but it also works well in cocktails. I typically use bourbon or rye for whiskey drinks, so it was fun to try a couple of traditional recipes with an Irish whiskey.
The Emerald is a Manhattan made with Irish whiskey instead of bourbon or rye. As with any Manhattan, this is a boozy but elegant cocktail. The Double Barrel’s lighter complexion gives it a striking look, and orange bitters bring out its pleasant fruitiness.
- 2.5 ounces Glendalough Double Barrel whiskey
- ¾ ounce Dolin sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Stir in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe or Manhattan glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Spring is Coming
This was sort of an off-the-cuff riff on an Old Fashioned. Separately, I made a brandy-based ginger liqueur for a different cocktail (stay tuned) but thought the flavor would complement the notes of fruit and vanilla in the Double Barrel. Lavender bitters give it a floral essence, and a twist of lemon adds a hint of tartness.
I called it “Spring is Coming” because it’s bold and boozy enough to fortify against, say, a March blizzard in New England (sound familiar?) but light and airy enough to make you think of melting snow and blooming flowers.
- 2 ounces Glendalough Double Barrel whiskey
- ¼ ounce house ginger liqueur
- 2 dashes Scrappy’s lavender bitters
Stir with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a double rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.
If you’re looking for other ways to mix up the Double Barrel, you’ll find a pot of gold’s worth of cocktail recipes on Glendalough’s website. If you do go there, I implore you to check out the epic, Game of Thrones-esque promotional video about St. Kevin, who founded the Glendalough valley and serves as a source of inspiration for its eponymous distillery.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day. And if you’re in Boston and should run into Donal, be sure to say “top o’ the mornin’!” He loves that.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary bottle of Glendalough Double Barrel Irish whiskey. I was not asked or expected to write about it.
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