Not all gin distillers that rebel against the classic London Dry style of gin have an entire ocean between them and England. Conncullin, produced by Connacht Whiskey Company in Western Ireland, draws its flavor from local Irish botanicals and ingredients. The name Conncullin comes from two lakes nearby, Lough Conn and Lough Collin, from which the distillery sources its water. Along with the required juniper, Conncullin features elderberry flower and hawthorn berry, which lend a sweetness to the nose and palate and also offer some intriguing flavors beyond.
The gin smells almost savory with the aroma of sweet barbecue, ginger, fresh cream and dandelion. While Conncullin is a little hot at first, it finds a nice bed at the back of the tongue, where it curls up with flavors of pine, tangerine, olives, sage and white grape. It’s at once feisty and floral, and a great representation of the gin coming out of the Emerald Isle now.