It has been a strange day of excitement, butterflys and being secretive. We’ve been setting up at Taste of Donegal which is always fun and you can feel the excitement build as you set up the stand and catch up with the great and the good of the Donegal food and drink scene over a sack truck out on the pier in Donegal Town.
We had gotten word that we had secured planning for Ardara and the elation and relief at the news was tempered with not physically having received the Grant of planning paperwork so we didn’t want to tempt fate by telling anyone. Fortunately by close of play the architects had the documents and Moira and I went off like a couple of fireworks sharing the news with the people of Ardara and anyone that would listen (and more than a few that weren’t).
Remarkably for a distillery planning application there was not a single letter of objection and multiple letters of support from businesses, individuals and some representatives. Ironic really when you think objections get posted quickly to the planning site but support letters less obviously so. What a lovely way to kick Taste of Donegal off.
For us we have paired back our offer to provide a bit of focus and lead with An Dúlamán Santa Ana. When we first set down the road of a barrel aged Navy Strength gin we were unsure how it would turn out. For sure we knew it would be different and the mini trials we had done were “interesting” but not outstanding but the fresh Rioja barrels bring an amazing sweet dusty spice to what is already an extraordinarily deft gin. We even got to taste it with the heritage group in Ardara who re-enact the march that the soldiers and sailors of the Spanish Armada made all those years ago.
Sometimes you just know when you are backing a winner.