Glendalough Poitín launch will take place at 37, Dawson Street, Dublin,2 on Monday, 15th July,2013.

Details of Glendalough Poitín under NEWS/ARCHIVE/GLENDALOUGH .

The Original Irish Spirit

Before there was whiskey, there was poitín. Pronounced pucheen, it is the original Irish spirit, the very first “water of life”.


Poitín was first made with expertise and reverence, around the 6th century, by Irish monks, the master distillers of their time. In 1661 it was outlawed and forced into the wilderness, where it enjoyed an illicit romanticism.
Remote glens where the winds swept through, broke up the smoke from the peat fires, and kept prying eyes, and the law, away. Over the next few hundred years it lived in whispered infamy between chancers, bowsies and divils. Amongst winks, nods and backhanders. Until now.
We’ve harnessed tradition, craft, heritage and provenance to capture more than fourteen centuries of distilling expertise in this notorious drink. It is a carefully crafted, Irish mountain spirit, made from malted barley and aged in virgin Irish oak. The result is a smooth but complex mix of malted barley sugars and toasted, woody flavours. Mix it, cut it, sip or straight shoot it. Carefully.

How to drink it

Glendalough is rich with history and taste. It’s a smooth but complex poitín, matured in virgin, Irish oak with tastes of malted barley. It’s grand with a mixer, cut it with soda water and a wedge of lime. Neat is best, if you’ve got the bottle. Also a traditional rub for aches and pains. Here are a few other suggestions.

Saint Kevin of Glendalough

Early in the 6th century, the fairbegotten Kevin founded Glendalough. The son of Irish royalty, he left it all behind and broke out to make it on his own terms. The details of his life have passed into myth and many legends, the most famous of which is shown on our bottle

A gander at the goose

When Kevin discovered Glendalough, he spent seven happy years living his outdoor life, relying on his woodsmanship and his relationship with nature. Soon though, so many people had come to share the outdoor life with him, he had to build a settlement of some sort. The paradise valley of two lakes was owned by a pagan king called O’Toole. A harsh sort, who was none too happy with this wild man and his followers hanging around his glen. He had soft spot though. An old grey goose he’d grown fond of over the years, that was on its last legs and couldn’t even manage to fly. He called for Kevin, by now famous for his way with the animals, to take a gander at the poor old goose. The price Kevin asked for curing the goose would be whatever land it could fly over. Remembering his goose had one webbed foot in the grave, O’Toole agreed. When Kevin touched the bird, it grew young and flew over the whole valley of Glendalough and so the famous holy city was founded.

Red in tooth and claw

King Colman of Fælan had lost all his sons, but his youngest, to early death. It was said evil spirits had a grip on his house. So, to protect the last of his line, the king sent the baby to St. Kevin. However, it was the early days of Glendalough and the herd wasn’t what it would be. The lack of cows meant there was no milk for the youngster. Kevin, seeing a doe on the monastery grounds, commanded it to nurse the babe prince along with her fawn. Which of course, she did. But true to what happens in wild places like Glendalough, a bitch wolf killed the doe before the child was weaned. As a penitence for the slaughter of the doe, the wolf was commanded to provide milk for the baby and the fawn until both were weaned. Which of course, she did.

The light of the dark black night

The fair begotten Kevin was a keen and skilled outdoorsman. He would spend months and years on end out surviving off the wilderness. He was in tune with the wild and had an understanding with the animals of the glen. One day while out praying, arms outstretched, admiring the beautiful valley, a blackbird landed on his hand. She was so comfortable in his palm that she nested, laying three small, bluish-green eggs. There was nothing for it but for Kevin to stand stoic and unmoving for a fortnight, until the chicks hatched. He endured for another few weeks while they became fledglings and could make it on their own. This all happened by the lower lake, where an otter he knew brought him fish to keep his strength up. Nobody knows where Kevin was buried, after he died at the ripe old age of 120. But to this day, the blackbirds of Glendalough gather every evening in the same spot to sing out the sunset.

Glendalough, or the Glen of two Lakes, is one of the most beautiful valleys in Ireland.

They say Europe was brought out of the dark ages by Irish monks bringing learning from places like Glendalough.

The two ribbon lakes, created by the gouging of a glacier, gave the valley its name. When the valley was formed in the last ice age, great deposits of earth and stone were strewn across the valley in the area where the Round Tower now exists.

The mountain streams eventually formed a large lake. The Pollanass river spread alluvial deposits across the centre of the lake and created a divide to form the Upper and Lower Lakes. The Glenealo river flows in from the West into the Upper lake which is the larger and deepest of the two lakes. (there’s talk of a monster in the Upper Lake – banished from the lower one by Kevin)

Before the arrival of St. Kevin this valley (glen) would have been desolate and remote. It must have been ideal for Kevin his outdoor living ‘away from it all’, until his fame brought followers and with them the beginnings of Kevin’s legacy. Kevin died in 617 A.D. at the age of 120 years. His name and life’s work is forever entwine with the ruins and the Glendalough Valley.

We’ll be kicking off around seven
at 37, Dawson St, on Monday 15th July
See you there,
Barry, Brian, Gary, Kevin & Donal.
the Glendalough team

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