Gunpowder at Ashford Castle


Last year, Travel Extra Editor Kevin Flanagan took a trip to the Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo to see just how the incredible Gunpowder Irish Gin is made. Here, he talks about his experience and the brand’s new partnership

Niall Rochford, GM of Ashford Castle is presented with the first bottle of Ashford Castle Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin edition by Denise and PJ Rigney

One of the highlights of last year, in between lockdowns, was a trip to The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, where Gunpowder Irish Gin is made. 

We had an amazing day seeing how this signature gin is created. We also sampled the great food and cocktails served at the on-site restaurant – fab! Over the years, I have interviewed PJ Rigney – the founder of The Shed Distillery and creator of Gunpowder Gin – and a legend in the Irish drinks industry. He is always full of life, ideas, and creativity.

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Now, PJ’s curious mind has come up with a partnership between one of the best distilleries in the world and one of the best hotels to create a one-of-a-kind gin infused with honey and wood sorrel directly from the Ashford Estate. 

The new one-of-a-kind gin infused with honey and wood sorrel sold directly from the Ashford Estate

PJ told me that his special Gunpowder Gin edition was created in partnership with the team at Ashford Castle, led by Noli Alngohuro, Bar and Lounge Manager and General Manager, Niall Rochford. PJ added that every drop is slow-distilled by hand, sealed, hand-bottled and labelled at The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo.

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I’d recommend this as a unique Irish gin venture which helps support the local and national Irish hospitality industry. The 800-year-old Ashford Castle Estate in beautiful Co Mayo now employs more than 400 people, while over 80 are employed at The Shed Distillery, following the opening of the new €3.5 million visitor centre. More power to PJ and Ashford Castle Estate!

To buy a bottle online, visit

To book a visit to Drumshanbo, log onto

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Shauna McCrudden

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