Minke Gin from the newly-opened Clonakilty Distillery was named the Best International Botanical Gin by the American Distilling Institute, following a blind tasting by a panel of expert judges.
The main botanical used to create Minke Gin is rock samphire – also known as the fennel of the sea – which has a mild aniseed flavour.
The Scully family – founders of Clonakilty Distillery – sustainably hand forage for rock samphire near their farm off Galley Head.
Helen Scully, who co-created the recipe for Minke Gin, spoke of her delight to have been internationally recognised with such a prestigious industry award.
She said: “To win the Best International Botanical Gin so soon after opening the distillery is such an achievement and I’m so proud of our team. Minke really is a super gin and we’re so delighted to have that recognition following a blind tasting – it just means the gin spoke for itself.”
She added: “It really is lovingly crafted – the whole family has foraged for the rock samphire used to make it. I love to kayak and pick it and our family dog swims along beside me. It’s truly a labour of love and I think that shows in the product.”
Minke Gin is fast becoming a favourite amongst premium gins and Clonakilty Distillery is opening its own gin school so groups of people can come and make their own bottle to take home.
Michael Scully said: “We’ve had huge interest in the gin school – it’s a great day out whether it’s for hen parties, corporate bonding events or occasions or just a nice day out with friends. It’s a great feature of the distillery and its overall visitor experience. This award from the American Distilling Institute really means a lot to us and has put Minke gin truly on the map.”
He added: “The name is inspired by the minke whale which swims wild off our coast. The base spirit is a whey based alcohol produced from milk on our family farm and other local farmers. Grass to glass at its best. This gives minke gin a unique velvety mouthfeel and texture.”
The Clonakilty Distillery has also won a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for its Clonakilty Single Batch whiskey.
The accolade is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the whiskey world.
The double gold medal was awarded following a blind tasting by a panel of judges and it means that every single judge gave the whiskey a top scoring gold medal.
The single batch, which was awarded a silver in 2018, has been further refined using additional cask finishes to produce a premium whiskey of exceptional value.
“This is a reflection of the care and attention we take with all our whiskies and we’re absolutely over the moon about it. We opened our visitor centre earlier this month and to win this award so early on our journey is amazing. It really shows that we have a stand out product and that the taste speaks for itself.” Michael Scully, founder of Clonakilty Distillery said.