This month we are celebrating Irish again, and we are delighted to be doing so. Working in the Scottish highlands for the Glenmorangie whiskey company for over 10 years taught Joe McGirr about spirit production. The dream was always to come home, distil his own product and create his own gin. His family’s rich history in farming around Lough Erne in Fermanagh was the perfect backdrop and he has transformed an unused boatyard on the banks of the Lough into a distillery. They first started production in 2016 and today they offer tours and tastings to the public too. Perfect if you are planning a trip to the nearby Lough Erne Resort or the Tully Bay Holiday homes located nearby!
Joe distils his own base spirit from malted wheat grown on the farm. He uses Champagne yeast for a rich flavour and then the botanicals below are added to give Boatyard it’s unique flavour. Each of the botanicals are organic and the sweet gale herb is also sourced from Joe’s own family farm. The gin rests for a minimum of 2 weeks before bottling which is unusual but something that Joe says allows for a complete infusion.
Rather than discard all of the botanicals after production, Joe founded The Proper Chocolate Company so that all of the flavours created in ‘Erainn’ (the name they give their copper pot still) can be added to a dark Tanzanian cocoa. Try the chocolate on its own, with a neat gin or with a gin and tonic!
You may have tasted the wonderful tonics from the Troughton family a few months ago. Now in their second generation, the waters are sourced from Co Armagh where the tonic is made by Philip Troughton and his family, who live to this day on the estate he grew up on. The family are well known for their ciders, apple juice and cider vinegar as well.
We were also delighted to receive a further present of two glasses for Boatyard gin, from Joe for all Gin Box subscribers. These are for sale at £8 each on their site and he was delighted to offer us a pair for everyone this month. If you are in the area, pop in to the Boatyard and say hi. Either Joe or one of his two sisters Marie or Teresa will be there to greet you. The Boatyard is a family business with each batch bottled and labelled by hand. It is clear to see and taste how much love, care and attention to detail that they put into their product.
Juniper 86%, Coriander 11.5%, Liquorice Root 0.45%, Angelica 0.45%, Orris 0.25%, Citrus 0.45%, Grains of paradise 0.45%, Sweet Gale 0.45%