Four Irish gins to try: from a full-bodied classic to the complex and fruity

Gin is still in but there is a noticeable drive to the premium end

Judging by the array on display in Dublin Airport, gin remains as popular as ever. Joe McGirr of Boatyard Distillery agrees. “Demand is still there and increasing – every bar in the world needs at least one gin on the back bar. Selection is being trimmed a little, but we notice a drive to the premium end, although you have to have authenticity and credibility. Unlike other gin producers, they do not have plans to produce a whiskey. “We are all about the gin and we are comfortable with this.” Boatyard, on the banks of Lough Erne, is certified organic and on the verge of becoming fully sustainable.

Echlinville is a farm-to-glass distillery based on the Ards Peninsula. The single estate pot still is made using a base spirit distilled from barley grown on the distillery’s own farmland and floor-malted there too. Echlinville make a number of gins, as well as Dunville, Matt D’Arcy and Old Comber whiskeys, and hope to release the first Echlinvillle whiskey later this year. Their Weaver’s Gin is available from SuperValu.

Wexford is famous for two agricultural crops: potatoes and strawberries. The Stafford family are major potato growers and have been using the humble spud to make Jackford’s gin for a few years now. It doesn’t taste of potatoes, but they do give the gin a lovely creamy texture. Now, they have gone a step further and sourced some local Wexford strawberries, and as they also grow strawberries, will use these in the future. The strawberries give the gin a lovely fruity kick.

If you enjoy fruit-flavoured gins, you should try the limited release Conncullin Port Cask Aged Gin from Connacht Whiskey. Aged in casks formerly used to mature Port, just 2,100 bottles were produced.


This week four craft gins each from a different part of the island. If you are on a tight budget, Boyle’s Irish gin, made by the team in Blackwater Distillery, is a something of a bargain at €24.99 from Aldi.

Boatyard Double Gin, The Boatyard Distillery, Co Fermanagh

46%, €42-44/£32

A delicious full-bodied, classic dry gin, juniper forward, balanced nicely by fresh citrus. From: Direct from the distillery and specialist off-licences.

Conncullin Port Cask Aged Irish Gin, Connacht Distillery

45%, €45.99

A fruit-forward gin with subtle sweet damsons and blackcurrants as well as the traditional juniper. From: Connacht travel retail and specialist off-licences

Jackford Wexford Strawberry Gin

A nicely textured gin with subtle botanicals and plenty of ripe strawberries, finishing dry. From: Direct from the distillery, specialist off-licences and travel retail.

Echlinville Single Estate Pot Still Gin, The Echlinville Distillery, Co Down

46%, €47.95/£36.50

Complex, rich, smooth and creamy with lemon zest, herbs and juniper, lingering nicely. An excellent gin. From: and specialist off-licences.