Ireland’s First Navy Strength Gin…
An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin Reveals ‘Santa Ana’ – their cask-aged Armada Strength Gin.
Sliabh Liag Distillers, producers of the multi-award-winning An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin have announced the release of An Dúlamán Santa Ana, Armada Strength Gin. This navy strength gin is aged in Rioja casks, imparting a slight sweetness and beautiful rose gold hue to the complex maritime notes of An Dúlamán. After aging, Santa Ana is bottled at navy strength of 57% ABV. Santa Ana is available from Master of Malt and Whisky Exchange at RRP €55, 50cl.
As with the classic An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin, Santa Ana is a tribute to the stunning Donegal coastline and its history. Its name comes from La Duquesa Santa Ana, a formidable Andalusian ship which was lost in Philip II’s ill-fated Spanish Armada conquest to invade England in 1588. The ship was wrecked on 28th September off Loughros Mor, close to where the An Dúlamán distillery is located. Thankfully, all 900 men on board survived, and indeed locals still gather to re-enact the 30km walk undertaken by the crew of the Santa Ana from Rosbeg to Killybegs. The Rioja wine casks used to age the gin not only impart colour and flavour but have historic connotations as well. The commander of the La Duquesa Santa Ana, Don Alonso de Leyva, who was second in command of the Armada, was from a noble family household in the Rioja region of Spain.
Santa Ana takes An Dúlamán’s bright juniper and soft salty sea notes and adds floral aromas mixed with subtle spices and liquorice. A vibrant spirit that comes alive on the palate with a slight orange-maderia sweetness, the softness of the gin balances its 57% strength to create a complex and intriguing mouth feel. The rich umami notes have taken on hints of candied peel and fresh blackberries from the Rioja barrels, leaving a long warming orange finish.
The iconic An Dúlamán bottle, inspired by those found along the Donegal coast after ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked upon the rocks, is also used for Santa Ana, with some marked differences. The wax seal is a deep ruby red and the label is a section from a traditional map, that marks the location of the loss of the La Duquesa Santa Ana.
An Dúlamán Santa Ana can be enjoyed neat or over ice as a beautifully complex sipping gin. Pair with a premium tonic for an upgraded G&T, or with a simple dash of soda water over ice to relish the gin without any added flavours. Classic gin cocktails should never be overlooked, a simple Martini is the perfect vehicle to showcase the strength and subtle notes of Santa Ana – serve dry to reveal the natural sweet, savoury flavour profile. Or, mix in a Negroni, where the signature softness of An Dúlamán Santa Ana will shine through with a superb warming orangey finish.
An Dúlamán Santa Ana Armada Strength Gin is available in most good independent off-licences including The Celtic Whiskey Shop and Redmond’s of Rangelagh in Dublin; McCambridges in Galway; Foley’s in Sligo and online at www.celticwhiskeyshop.com and through Dicey Reilly’s of Ballyshannon at www.diceys.com .
Full list of botanicals:
Fruits, seeds, roots: Juniper berries from Macedonia; Coriander seed from Bulgaria; Angelica root from Belgium; Cassia bark from Indonesia; Lemon peel from Spain; Sweet orange peel from Egypt. Seaweeds (all harvested on the Donegal shore): Channel Wrack (also called Dúlamán) imparting tannins; Dulse offers smokey salty umami flavours; Sugar Kelp offers a sweetness and dusty lime flavours; Carrageen moss provides an earthy nutty sweetness; Pepper dulse provides a huge burst of garlic, minerality, aromatic and intense peppery umami.