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Echlinville welcomes Belfast Whiskey Week

The Echlinville Distillery has been celebrating County Down’s proud whiskey heritage by showcasing some of the areas most famous spirits during Belfast Whiskey Week. The final day of the festival will see series of events broadcast live from Echlinville to a global online audience tomorrow (Saturday 31 July).

Echlinville is a key partner in the week long programme of events showcasing the best of Irish and world whiskey. The highlights of Saturday’s programme include a tasting of the core range of Dunville’s Irish Whiskeys. There will also be an exclusive tasting of as yet unreleased casks from our warehouse, including new age statements and cask finishes.

The Spirit of Belfast

As custodians of Dunville’s Irish Whiskey, the official Spirit of Belfast, we have a particularly close association with Belfast Whiskey Week. We are delighted to welcome the festival’s online audience to our distillery for the final day of the festival.

Belfast was once at the heart of Ireland’s whiskey industry, so Belfast Whiskey Week is bringing the focus of the Irish whiskey community back to a city whose association with the spirit has been somewhat forgotten over the years.

By the end of the 19th century, Ireland was producing around 14 million gallons of whiskey per year. A disproportionate amount of that was distilled in Belfast, and much of that by Dunville’s. From street names to landmark buildings, Dunville’s legacy can be found throughout Belfast. This is our whiskey and our city, so we are proud to celebrate Belfast Whiskey Week by showcasing The Spirit of Belfast to whiskey enthusiasts around the world.

County Down Whiskeys

Belfast and County Down played a huge role in Ireland’s proud whiskey heritage. Two of Co. Down’s most famous whiskeys were Old Comber and Newry based Matt D’Arcys – both of which sadly fell victim to the collapse of the Irish whiskey industry. Both brands were recently revived by Echlinville, bringing three of Ireland’s most historic ‘lost’ whiskeys together under one roof.

Alongside Dunville’s, Old Comber Pot Still Whiskey and Matt D’Arcy Whiskey feature in the Belfast Whiskey Week Bonus Tasting Box.

Irish Whiskey Revival

Old brands like Dunville’s, Matt D’Arcy and Old Comber are hugely important to Ireland’s whiskey heritage. Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries they built an industry that was the envy of the world. Now their revival is playing an important role in the resurgence of that industry. Belfast Whiskey Week provides the perfect platform to share these whiskeys and their story with audiences around the world.

Together with events like Belfast Whiskey Week, all of us at Echlinville look forward to putting Belfast and Co. Down area back on the world whiskey map.

Belfast Whiskey Week at Echlinville

The following tasting will be broadcast live from The Echlinville Distillery on Saturday 31 July 2021. Events can be viewed online via Belfast Whiskey Week by anyone who has purchased a Festival Pass. For more information on how to access events email enquiries@belfastwhiskeyweek.com

2.00pm Highland Whisky

4.00pm Dunville’s Irish Whiskey Core Range

6.15pm Pre-1970 Irish Whiskey

8.30pm Echlinville Distillery Warehouse Tasting

Dunville’s PX Cask Strength release for Belfast Whiskey Week

Dunville’s Irish Whiskey is celebrating Belfast Whiskey Week with the launch of a special festival bottling of PX Cask Strength Whiskey.

The Single Cask bottling is available exclusively to those with a Belfast Whiskey Week Festival Pass.

Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Irish Whiskey Cask 1330 was named Best Irish Single Cask Single Malt at this year’s World Whiskey Awards. Finished in Dunville’s signature Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, it is bottled at 57.2% abv.

This limited release of 352 bottles will be available exclusively to Belfast Whiskey Week Festival Pass holders. It will be on sale from The Echlinville Distillery online shop at 4pm on Monday 26 July 2021 priced £125 (link will go live then).

How to purchase

– This release can only be purchased with a Belfast Whiskey Week Festival Pass code.

– For your chance to purchase this Single Cask bottling you should click here to purchase a Belfast Whiskey Week Festival Pass from as little as £6.

– Anyone who purchases a pass will be sent an email from Belfast Whiskey Week confirming their Pass purchase.

– You will then receive a second email from Belfast Whiskey Week with your Dunville’s Cask 1330 purchase code, which you must use at checkout when purchasing this whiskey.

– If you have already signed up to a festival pass or tasting there is no need to purchase an additional pass. Belfast Whiskey Week will send you an email with your purchase code.

– Sales will go live at on The Echlinville Distillery Online Shop at 4pm on Monday 26 July (link will go live at that time).

Please Note: Purchases will be limited to one bottle per customer. Bottles will be allocated on a first come first served basis. We can not guarantee that everyone who purchases a Festival Pass will secure a bottle.

Belfast Whiskey Week

Cask 1330 will feature in the Festival Bottlings Masterclass at Belfast Whiskey Week (Monday 26 July). Ireland’s largest whiskey festival features more than 90 whiskey tastings alongside a week long programme of entertainment livestreamed to audiences around the world

Jarlath Watson from Dunville’s Irish Whiskey said: “As the original Spirit of Belfast, Dunville’s is proud to be a key partner in Belfast Whiskey Week. Cask 1330 has been specially bottled for the festival. Named Ireland’s Best Single Cask at the World Whiskey Awards, it represents all that is great about our city and our whiskey.

“Cask 1330 is the latest release from the Dunville’s Single Cask Series which showcases the very best casks from our warehouses. PX Cask Strength is now a firm fixture in the Single Cask Series and has become synonymous with exceptional quality and that exquisitely intense sherry bomb flavour that Dunville’s customers know and love.

“The Echlinville Distillery has proudly supported Belfast Whiskey Week since it began in 2019, so when this particular cask was awarded Ireland’s Best Single Cask Whiskey, we decided it would be the ideal Exclusive Special Festival Bottling for Belfast Whiskey Week.”

Cask 1330 is one of a number of whiskeys from Dunville’s and The Echlinville Distillery to feature in this year’s Belfast Whiskey Week, which sees the Irish whiskey community come together like never before for an online celebration of Irish and world whiskeys. The festival programme also features tastings of current and as yet unreleased whiskeys from Dunville’s warehouses, which will be broadcast live from The Echlinville Distillery on Saturday 31 July.

The Spirit of Belfast

Jarlath continued: “Belfast was once at the heart of Ireland’s whiskey industry, so it’s fitting that Belfast Whiskey Week should bring focus back to a city whose association with the spirit has been somewhat forgotten over the years.

“By the end of the 19th century, Ireland was producing around 14 million gallons of whiskey per year. A disproportionate amount of that was distilled in Belfast, and much of that by Dunville’s. Dunville’s employed hundreds of people, constructed housing for their workers on the aptly named Excise Street, Distillery Street and Dunville Street, built Belfast’s first public park – Dunville Park on the Falls Road – and even founded a football club, Distillery FC, which we are proud to still have links with today.

“Dunville’s legacy can be found throughout Belfast. This is our whiskey and our city, so we are proud to celebrate Belfast Whiskey Week by unveiling the latest release from our Single Cask Series, which showcases the very best whiskeys from the Dunville’s warehouse, with each release helping put this city and its spirit firmly back on the world whiskey map.”

Dunville’s PX Cask Strength 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey Cask 1330 will be available exclusively to customers with a Belfast Whiskey Week Festival Passfrom https://echlinville.com/shop/whiskey/dunvilles-px-12-cask-strength/ on Monday 26 July 2021 priced £125. Purchases will be limited to one bottle per customer.

Dunville’s Exclusive Single Cask for Carry Out Killarney

Dunville’s Irish Whiskey is collaborating with key partners within the trade to produce a series of bespoke single cask bottlings.

The latest release from the Exclusive Single Cask Series has been bottled for Carry Out Killarney. Cask 1699 was selected by Carry Out owner John Fleming from among the finest casks in the Dunville’s warehouses, and approved by Graeme Millar from The Echlinville Distillery, proud custodians of Dunville’s Irish Whiskey.

This 14 Year Old Single Malt is finished in Pedro Ximénez Sherry Cask, bottled at cask strength 57.7% abv and limited to just 337 bottles. It will be available exclusively from Carry Out Killarney at 11am on Saturday 10 July 2021 priced €185. Each customer will also receive a limited edition Glencairn whiskey tasting glass, specially commissioned to accompany this single cask release.

This bottling for Carry Out Killarney follows The Palace Bar’s 20 Year Old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish release and is the second in a series of bespoke bottlings by Dunville’s Irish Whiskey for selected retailers, hospitality venues and key trade partners.

To purchase Cask 1699 visit http://www.carryoutkillarney.ie/ or call 00353 (0) 646622588.

*Please note this release will not be available from Dunville’s Irish Whiskey or The Echlinville Distillery.

Job Opportunity for Executive Assistant

We are searching for an Executive Assistant to join our busy team. Applicants should send their CV to peter@echlinville.com before 5pm on Wednesday 21 July 2021.

Duties Include

Dealing with correspondence, emails and phone calls.

Diary management.

Organising meetings and appointment.

Arranging and booking travel, transport and accommodation.

Typing, preparing documents, presentations and correspondence.

Keeping minutes of meetings.

Filing and document management.

Liaising with staff, suppliers, customers and other business partners.

Assisting with the organisation of events.

Arranging catering and hospitality for meetings.

Miscellaneous tasks as required.

Person Specification

Executive Assistant experience preferred / essential.

Confident and assertive individual, good sense of humour.

Organised and efficient, able to multi-task.

Happy to take on an array of tasks.

Discretion and trustworthiness.

Flexibility and adaptability.

Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office.

Tact and diplomacy.

Full driving licence and access to a vehicle.

Additional Information

Location – Kircubbin, Co. Down

Part-time initially

Salary based on experience

To apply please send your CV to peter@echlinville.com by Wednesday 21st July 2021 at 5pm. The Echlinville Distillery is an equal opportunities employer.

A Strangford Lough Staycation

The Echlinville Distillery is located on the Ards Peninsula near the shores of Strangford Lough. We consider ourselves very lucky to call this place home. With stunning landscapes, fabulous food and lots to do for all the family, it’s the perfect place for a Northern Ireland staycation.

What can you expect from a visit to Strangford Lough?

In this part of the world, we take pride in taking it slow. From pace of life, to food and entertainment, we find strength in simplicity. Away from the crowds, Strangford Lough is the perfect place to relax, unwind and leave your stresses behind.

Just 30 minutes from Belfast and 90 minutes from Dublin, you will find water teeming with wildlife, hills piled high with 9,000 years of history, holy wells and ancient abbeys. Strangford Lough is an internationally recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Special Scientific Interest. One of the most richly bio-diverse regions in Europe, it’s no wonder there’s an unmistakable tranquility to the place we call home.

Visitor Experiences

Here are just some of the amazing visitor experiences on offer on and around Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula.

  • Spend the day kayaking on Strangford Lough with Mobile Team Adventure before stopping off on one of the lough’s hundreds of islands to cook and enjoy some freshly caught mussels.
  • Bake your own traditional Northern Ireland breads on the griddle in a 17th century farmhouse at Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen.
  • Discover our unique landscape, heritage and people on a guided walking tour with Sustainable Journey’s Ireland.
  • Pour the perfect pint of Guinness, learn a cúpla focal in the Irish language or try Irish dancing at Denvir’s of Downpatrick.
  • Enjoy an underwater adventure, meet the crocodile, penguins, otters and more at Exploris, Northern Ireland’s only aquarium. Feed the rescued seals at the Seal Sanctuary and even help release one back in to the wild .
  • Discover the best local sights and artisan food and drink producers on the Strangford Lough Tasting Tour with Indie Fude.
  • From architecture to the United Irishmen, discover the timeline of the Ards Peninsula or enjoy a concert or comedy gig at The Portico.
  • Escape the stress of daily life and try your hand at bushcraft, forraging and wild cooking at the beautiful Finnebrogue Woods.  
  • Enjoy seasonal local produce, a friendly welcome and a room with a view to enjoy sunset over Strangford Lough at the Portaferry Hotel.
  • Get up close to Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic water birds, ducks and geese at Castle Espie.
  • Enjoy an exquisite dining experience at the home of the Game of Thrones door at The Cuan.
  • Walk through the ruins of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey, the only Abbey in Ireland founded by a woman and the first example of Gothic architecture on the island, at Grey Abbey.
  • Immerse yourself in the legacy of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, at The Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick.

And remember to pay us a visit at The Echlinville Distillery. Enjoy our distillery Tour & Tipple or visit our distillery shop.

Matt D’Arcy Old Irish Whiskey joins Echlinville portfolio

We are delighted to welcome the historic Matt D’Arcy Irish Whiskey brand to Echlinville’s portfolio of award-winning whiskeys.

The Echlinville Distillery and Newry based Matt D’Arcy & Co Limited have forged an alliance that will see Echlinville mature, bottle and market Matt D’Arcy’s Old Irish Whiskey and grow the brand in the global Irish whiskey market.

Famous Newry Whiskey

Founded in Newry, Co. Down in 1817, Matt. D’Arcy’s was revived by Newry man Michael McKeown in 2020. It is the latest heritage whiskey brand to join the Echlinville line up.

Matt D’Arcy’s will sit alongside our award winning Dunville’s Irish Whiskey range and the recently restored Old Comber Pot Still Irish Whiskey. The move sees three of Ireland’s most historic ‘lost’ whiskey brands brought under Echlinville’s guardianship.

Echlinville Distillery owner Shane Braniff said, “We are delighted to welcome Matt D’Arcy’s into the Echlinville family and we look forward to sharing the story and celebrating the legacy of this proud Co. Down whiskey with our customers around the world.

“I have long had a passion for old Irish whiskey brands, particularly those from Co. Down, so I have followed with interest the revival of Matt D’Arcy Irish Whiskey over the past few years.

“At Echlinville, we know from first-hand experience the hard work, passion and dedication that goes in to restoring a historic name like Matt D’Arcy’s, and in doing so in a way that respects and celebrates the brand’s proud heritage. I congratulate Michael McKeown and his team at Matt D’Arcy & Co. Ltd in Newry for everything they have done to bring back this historic whiskey and we welcome Michael’s continued input into the future of the brand about which he is hugely passionate. We have also offered Michael our technical support as he pursues the redevelopment of the Old Distillery site in Newry in line with his vision to restore distilling to the city where Matt D’Arcy Whiskey was born.”

Shane Braniff, Echlinville Distillery

“Michael has written a wonderful book telling the great story of Matt D’Arcy and old Newry whiskeys. The book will be available from our Distillery shop alongside Matt D’Arcy’s Whiskey. The spirit and presentation of Matt D’Arcy’s Irish Whiskey are exceptional and it will make a worthy addition to the Echlinville portfolio.”

Irish Whiskey Heritage

Echlinville are proud custodians of the iconic Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand and recently revived the famous Old Comber Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Speaking about the role of heritage brands in the Irish whiskey sector, Shane continued: “These old Irish whiskey brands are hugely important. Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries they built an industry that was the envy of the world, and now their revival is playing an important role in the resurgence of that industry. In our view, names like Matt D’Arcy, Dunville’s and Old Comber deserve to be part of the Irish whiskey renaissance.”

Matt D’Arcy & Co. Newry

Michael McKeown owner of Matt D’Arcy & Co. Ltd. said: “Having grown up in the production and selling of alcoholic drinks, I have the greatest respect for Shane Braniff at Echlinville, whose passion and enthusiasm for Irish whiskey heritage matches my own.

“Echlinville’s brands are now widely sold across Ireland, Europe and the rest of the world. When Shane offered to bring Matt D’Arcy’s along the path to international recognition, I was only too happy to entrust the brand into his care and I look forward to seeing it grow on the worldwide whiskey stage.

“The high cost of breaking into foreign markets is the biggest barrier to a small producer like Matt D’Arcy’s. Collaborating with an established player such as Echlinville will propel the brand towards future growth.

“With this boost to our fortunes where Echlinville creates markets for the D’Arcy brand, we can turn our resources to developing the ‘Old Distillery’ site in Monaghan Street, Newry. Having acquired, in October 2020, the adjoining property at Corry Square, a revised application has been submitted to Building Control and the result is awaited before drawing up and issuing final tendering documentation.”

Shane Braniff concluded: “Michael McKeown’s passion for Matt D’Arcy, Irish whiskey and the city of Newry is palpable. All of us at Echlinville and Matt D’Arcy share the same sense of pride in our Co. Down roots and the role this part of the world played in Ireland’s proud whiskey heritage. With Matt D’Arcy, Dunville’s and Old Comber now under Echlinville’s guardianship, we look forward to putting Co. Down back on the world whiskey map.”

Matt D’Arcy’s Irish Whiskey is coming soon to The Echlinville Distillery online shop. For trade sales inquiries please contact stephenm@echlinville.com

Old Comber Whiskey revived

We are proud to announce the revival of the famous Old Comber Irish Whiskey brand after a near 70 year absence.

One of the original Irish whiskey giants, Old Comber Whiskey was founded in 1825 and produced at the Comber Distilleries, which were located just ten miles from where Echlinville now stands.

Comber Distilleries fell silent in 1953 and Old Comber joined the list of Ireland’s lost whiskeys. In testament to our continued commitment to put Co. Down back on the world whiskey map, we are unveiling our first release of Old Comber Irish Pot Still Whiskey – a pot still blend finished in Ruby Port casks and bottled at 46% abv and retailing at £45 RRP.

County Down roots

Old Comber was one of Ireland’s most celebrated whiskey brands. Famed for more than a century for its quality and bold flavour, its loss was lamented by whiskey enthusiasts around the world.

Anyone who knows Echlinville will know that we are incredibly proud of our roots. From rolling barley fields to huge malting houses and one of the largest distilleries in Ireland, County Down and the area around Strangford Lough in particular, has a strong whiskey heritage. Comber and its distilleries was widely regarded as the home of double distilled pot still whiskey.

We are honoured to bring Old Comber Whiskey back to its County Down homeland. In homage to the brand’s origins, our first release is a premium blend of pot still whiskeys, predominantly double distilled here at Echlinville, just ten miles from where the Comber Distilleries once stood.

Finish and flavour

Old Comber was renowned for its port and sherry cask finishes. In honour of that tradition, this new release has been aged in American Oak and Bourbon casks in the Echlinville warehouse and finished in the finest Ruby Port casks.

Deep amber in colour, this whiskey boasts notes of fresh vanilla pods, toffee apples and Battenburg cake on the nose. On the palate, a creamy pot still mouthfeel with treacle toffee, apple tarte tatin spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, opening up to rosewater, raspberries and cream. Those toffee and spice notes continue through to a medium finish with pecan nuts fading out to mellow oak tannins and sweet spice in its final notes. This limited release stays true to the Old Comber name and marks a new chapter in the story of Old Comber, Echlinville and the ongoing Irish whiskey revival.

Old Comber and Dunville’s

At Echlinville we are also custodians of the famous Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand. Another giant of Irish whiskey history, we revived Dunville’s in 2012 and have gone on to restore it to its rightful place among the world’s best whiskeys.

This corner of Ireland has a great story to tell in terms of its role in Ireland’s whiskey heritage. If Dunville’s was The Spirit of Belfast then Old Comber, one of its closest whiskey neighbours, was the spirit of County Down. In fact, both brands featured in BBC2’s recent Whiskey Talkin’ programme, which explored the history of Irish whiskey, the Dunville’s return and our collaboration with Fionnán O’Connor to recreate the original Old Comber mash bill – a whiskey that we hope to release when it reaches the seven year mark.

These old brands are hugely important. Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, they built an industry that was the envy of the world. Their revival will play an important part in the resurgence of that industry. In our view, names like Dunville’s and Old Comber deserve to be part of the Irish whiskey renaissance.

Dunville’s and Old Comber dominated whiskey production in the north of Ireland, but they had much more in common than huge distilleries and vast warehouses. In 1872 James Bruce was a director in Dunville’s and his brother Samuel Bruce, whose initials feature on the Old Comber bottle, was the owner of Comber Distilleries. We like to think that in reviving both historic brands, we are not only restoring a cornerstone of Northern Ireland’s distilling history but are in some way reuniting the Bruce brothers, at least in spirit.