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Five awards at San Francisco Spirits Competition

We are delighted to announce that The Echlinville Distillery has won five awards at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – one of the drinks industry’s most prestigious and influential contests.

Our Dunville’s Irish Whiskey portfolio scooped four awards including Double Gold Medals for Dunville’s Three Crowns and Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old Single Malt. The Double Gold Medal is awarded only to those spirits rated as exceptional by every member of the competition’s esteemed judging panel. Double Gold Medal winners are considered to be among the finest spirits in the world.

Dunville’s Three Crowns Peated and Weavers Irish Gin were both awarded a Gold Medal, meaning they are ‘near the pinnacle of achievement’ and set the standard for spirits in their category.

Dunville’s 1808 Blended Irish Whiskey was awarded a Silver Medal reserved for ‘outstanding spirits that show refinement, finesse and complexity’.

Global Recognition

Speaking about our latest awards success, distillery owner Shane Braniff said: “The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is held in high esteem throughout the global drinks industry. A San Francisco medal is a recognised indicator of exceptional quality and craftmanship, so to win five medals is a huge honour for all of us here at Echlinville.

“We pride ourselves in the quality and integrity of our products and the passion and professionalism of our team, so it is wonderful to see this recognised by the competition’s judging panel, which includes some of the spirits industry’s most respected and experienced experts.

“These medals bring our tally of global awards and accolades to 45, which is quite an achievement for our independent family-run distillery. Each award is an indication of the high esteem in which Echlinville held in the global spirits industry, which has traditionally been dominated by big multi-national brands.

“As we seek to increase our international presence – particularly in the Irish Whiskey sector, which is the world’s fastest growing spirits category – these awards will further strengthen our brands at home in Ireland and across key export markets. We are delighted with this latest awards success and hope it will help us to introduce The Echlinville Distillery and Dunville’s Irish Whiskey to new followers and spirits enthusiasts around the world.”

Strangford Lough Visitor Experiences showcased at Meet The Buyer 2021

As lead partner in The Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster, The Echlinville Distillery is delighted to announce that the cluster will be attending Virtual Meet the Buyer 2021, Tourism Northern Ireland’s flagship b2b networking event.

Located just 30 minutes outside Belfast city, 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 tranquillity to this place.

In and around Strangford Lough, people take pride in taking it slow. From pace of life, to food and entertainment, they find strength in simplicity, pleasure in the purity of the air and the water. Away from the crowds, carving a path back to nature. As you take the Time & Tide trail around Strangford Lough meet local people who are proud to be from here and are generous with their time and stories awakening a giant spirit in those who visit.

Passing through the narrow mouth of this land, the tides of Strangford Lough grow in strength. This energy traverses the land and the people. It drives our incredible, fresh, local food, distils our spirits and gives you experiences on the land and on the water that you won’t forget.

The Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster was established in early 2019 and comprises key tourist operators and stakeholders from the Strangford Lough area, supported by Invest NI, Tourism NI, Ards and North Down Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The event will take place from 20th – 22nd April 2021 and is an ideal opportunity to showcase our tourism offering to international buyers. Information on our current members can be found here

Introducing Dunville’s 1808 Blended Irish Whiskey

We are proud to unveil Dunville’s 1808 – a new blend from Dunville’s Irish Whiskey which tastes great neat, with a mixer or in a classic cocktail.

Dunville’s 1808 is a modern blend of malt, grain and pot still whiskeys. The latest release from The Spirit of Belfast boasts notes of vanilla, apples, pears, candied lemon peel and sweet spices – vivacious and full of character, like the city of its birth.

The name 1808 pays homage to the year Dunville’s Irish Whiskey was founded in Belfast, from where it went on to become one of the world’s most famous whiskeys.

Old Story, New Chapter

The launch of Dunville’s 1808 marks a new and exciting chapter in the Dunville’s story, a story that has spanned more than two centuries. Strong, uncompromised, bold, confident and honest, it celebrates all that is great about our city and our whiskey.

We revived Dunville’s Whiskey back in 2012 with a commitment to reintroduce this iconic Belfast brand to a new generation of whiskey drinkers. The expansion of our core range of single malt and vintage blend whiskeys and cask strength releases from the Dunville’s Single Cask Series have earned us a loyal following among whiskey enthusiasts and won more than 20 global awards along the way.

An everyday whiskey

Until now our focus has very much been on the super and ultra-premium end of the market. Dunville’s 1808 will give us a strong presence in the premium category. Everything, from the liquid to the label and the serve suggestions to the price tag, has been formulated with a broad customer base in mind. It is aimed at those who want to experience the great flavour and quality of Dunville’s Irish Whiskey in a more accessible offering.

It is a great option for everyone, from the ‘whiskey connoisseur’ who can enjoy it as an everyday sipper, to the ‘whiskey curious’ who want to try Irish Whiskey but aren’t quite sure where to start. We very much see 1808 as a gateway to the Dunville’s range and we hope it will introduce the brand to a much wider audience.

“Dunville’s 1808 tastes great the traditional way – neat or in the company of a pint. But it’s equally good in a classic cocktail or served long with ginger ale and a wedge of lime. Ginger ale was invented in Belfast, so it is a perfect pairing for a whiskey that is, at its heart, Belfast and proud.”

Jarlath Watson, Dunville’s Irish Whiskey and The Echlinville Distillery

The historic Spirit of Belfast

1808 is a celebration of Belfast and Dunville’s legacy in this great city. Founded in 1808 and produced at The Royal Irish Distilleries on the Grosvenor Road, Dunville’s put Belfast on the world whiskey map. The Dunville family made a huge contribution to the city by way of employment, housing, educational scholarships. They even founded a football team and provided the land and money to build the city’s first public park.

Unfortunately, the distillery fell silent in 1936 and Dunville’s was feared gone for good, until the brand was revived by The Echlinville Distillery in 2012. Since then, we have been on a journey towards restoring Dunville’s to its rightful place among the premier whiskeys of the world. A journey that continues with the launch of Dunville’s 1808.

Dunville’s 1808 Blended Irish Whiskey is bottled at 40% abv. Priced at £33 / €38 RRP it is available via retailers throughout the Republic of Ireland, from Total Wine & More in the USA and from The Echlinville Distillery online shop Distributed in Ireland by Hi-Spirits Ireland. For more visit www.dunvilleswhiskey.com

Hi-Spirits Ireland to distribute Echlinville Distillery brands

We are delighted to announce a new distribution agreement with Hi-Spirits Ireland. The deal will see an increased presence for Echlinville’s premium whiskeys and gins across the Irish market.

The Echlinville Distillery is home to award winning premium brands including Dunville’s Irish Whiskey, Weavers Gin and Echlinville Irish Pot Still Gin. The new partnership will provide a significant boost for our distillery’s presence in both the on and off-trade throughout Ireland.

Echlinville became the first field-to-glass distillery in Ireland, and the first new distillery in Northern Ireland for more than 125 years, when we began production in 2013. Our independent, family-owned distillery has since been at the forefront of Ireland’s spirits revolution with its Dunville’s Irish Whiskey in particular having gained a global following.

Future Growth

We are excited about this new partnership and the opportunities it will present for both Echlinville and Hi-Spirits Ireland. Our combined expertise, passion and commitment to quality will provide the momentum for the next phase of our growth.

“The agreement will see our Dunville’s Irish Whiskey range together with Weavers Gin and Echlinville Irish Pot Still Gin take their place among Hi-Spirits Ireland’s impressive portfolio. We look forward to working with the Hi-Spirits team to introduce our award-winning spirits to an increasing number of trade and retail partners and grow our presence in our home market.”

Shane Braniff, Echlinville Distillery Owner

Dunville’s Irish Whiskey

This distribution agreement comes at a particularly good time for us as we are about to launch the latest addition to our Dunville’s Irish Whiskey family. We are delighted that Hi-Spirits Ireland will be the sole Irish distributor of Dunville’s 1808 – a versatile modern blend that works well as a house pour, in a mixed drink or in a cocktail. It is very much a gateway product to the wider Dunville’s range and is perfectly placed in Hi-Spirits’ portfolio to introduce more customers to The Spirit of Belfast.

Hi-Spirits Ireland

“We are delighted to announce this partnership with Echlinville Distillery brands, that have earned a strong reputation for innovation, versatility and quality with both the trade and consumers alike.  The attention to quality in both liquid and exceptional branding ensures Echlinville will make a strong addition to both our Irish Whiskey and Gin portfolio. With an outstanding marketing and engagement plan, we are excited for the future of these brands and all of the opportunities that lie ahead.”

George Roberts, Hi-Spirits Ireland Country Manager

Dublin-based Hi-Spirits Ireland is a subsidiary of USA-based Sazerac Company, distributing a portfolio including Paddy Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace, Fireball, Antica Sambuca and a range of premium spirits and liqueurs. For more information visit www.hi-spirits.ie/ Trade inquiries to info@hi-spirits.ie

Dunville’s Irish Whiskey unveils fourth PX Cask Strength release

We are expanding ouraward winning Dunville’s Irish Whiskey portfolio with the release of its latest PX Cask Strength Single Cask bottling.

Cask 1710

Dunville’s PX Cask Strength 12 Year Old Single Malt Cask 1710 is the fourth PX Cask Strength expression from the Dunville’s Single Cask Series. Finished in the finest Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, bottled at 56.9% abv and limited to just 354 bottles, it will be available exclusively from our online shop from 8pm on Friday 26 February priced £112.

This is the fourth Cask Strength expression of our award winning 12 Year Old PX whiskey and the newest addition to our Single Cask Series, which showcases the very best whiskeys from our Dunville’s warehouses. Each release from the Single Cask Series offers something different, with every cask bottled at its optimum strength to deliver the stunning palate and rich mouthfeel that is synonymous with The Spirit of Belfast.

PX Sherry Cask Finish

“Since the release of our Dunville’s PX 10 Year Old back in 2012 – the whiskey with which we revived the iconic Dunville’s brand – the PX sherry cask finish has become our best known expression and is something that we do very well. Almost a year to the day since the release of our first PX Cask Strength expression, the PX finish is now a firm fixture in our Single Cask Series and has been very well received within the Irish whiskey family. As the Single Cask Series continues to evolve, we look forward to future Pedro Ximénez cask releases with some interesting twists and impressive age statements.”

Jarlath Watson, The Echlinville Distillery, Custodians of Dunville’s Irish Whiskey

This release will be limited to a maximum of two bottles per customer. Any additional bottles purchased will be voided and refunded accordingly. As demand for the Single Cask Series releases continues to grow, multi-bottle purchases have been limited in the interest of fairness. We hope you will understand the reason for this decision and will continue to support us on our journey to restoring The Spirit of Belfast to its rightful place among the premier whiskeys of the world.

Dunville’s Irish Whiskey in triple win at World Whiskies Awards

Dunville’s Irish Whiskey has won three accolades at the prestigious World Whiskies Awards.

We at The Echlinville Distillery are custodians of the iconic Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand, which picked up two category wins and one bronze medal at the esteemed awards.

Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old won it’s third consecutive World Whiskies Award, picking up the title of Best Irish Single Malt 12 Years and Under. Its cask strength cousin, Dunville’s PX 12 Cask Strength, was named Best Irish Single Cask Single Malt Aged 12 Years and Under, while the 18 Year Old Palo Cortado Sherry Finish won Bronze in the Irish Single Cask Single Malt Aged 13-20 category.

World’s best whiskeys

This is the latest in a series of accolades for Dunville’s, which has scooped major category wins at the World Whiskies Awards every year since 2015, further cementing Dunville’s place among the best whiskies of the world.

The World Whiskies Award select, reward and promote the highest quality whiskies to consumers and trade across the globe. They are judged by an international panel of whiskey experts.

Tender for Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster

Invitation to tender for Phase 2 Invest NI Collaborative Growth Programme Project for The Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster

Job Title: Independent Facilitator for the Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster Group – 30 month contract

Closing Date: Tuesday 2 February 2021 5pm

As lead partner in The Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster, The Echlinville Distillery is inviting tenders for an Independent Facilitator/s for Phase 2 of the Cluster’s Invest NI Collaborative Growth Programme.

The Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster was established in early 2019 and comprises key tourist operators and stakeholders from the Strangford Lough area, supported by Invest NI, Tourism NI, Ards and North Down Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The Cluster was assisted and financially funded by Invest NI though its Collaborative Growth Programme (Phase 1) and the funding enabled the appointment of independent facilitators who assisted the Cluster in carrying out a Scoping Study to investigate the potential to establish a collaborative network of SMEs around Strangford Lough. Working with the key tourism stakeholders, the Cluster identified how best to exploit economic opportunities arising from collaborative working on new products and experiences in the area.

Phase 2 – Having secured further funding from Invest NI, the Cluster now wishes to appoint a facilitator/s to guide and manage the Cluster, over a 30-month period, to co-ordinate effective delivery of an agreed set of SMART objectives and ensuring a commercial return for all the Cluster Members.

Next Steps:

Tender specification and project details are available here Independent Facilitator Tender Document

Tenders must be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday 2 February 2021.

Contact: 

Submit queries by email to peter@echlinville.com

Dunville’s 20 Year Old Oloroso & PX Sherry Casks Finish launch

We are expanding our Dunville’s Irish Whiskey portfolio with the release of a new limited cask strength bottling from the Single Cask Series.

Cask 1717 is an exceptional 20 Year Old Irish Single Malt finished in the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks. Bottled at Cask Strength 54.8% abv and limited to a Single Cask of just 290 bottles.

It will be available from our online distillery shop on Friday 11 December 2020 at 20:20hrs (8.20pm) priced £225.

This release will be limited to a maximum of two bottles per customer. Any additional bottles purchased will be voided and you will be refunded accordingly.*

New Single Cask Expression

Oloroso PX is a new expression for the Single Cask Series. It is also the first 20 year old whiskey and the eldest age statement in the Dunville’s portfolio. The influence of the twin sherry casks are wonderfully balanced, with  juicy, syrupy sweetness from the Pedro Ximénez perfectly enveloping the stunning depth and dryness of the Oloroso.

Robust, chewy and rich, with initial notes of stewed pears, overly ripened soft red apples, candied orange peel, dark chocolate and Kirsch soaked Black Forest Gateau.

Then raisins, prunes, apricot, roasted nuts. Think Christmas pudding drizzled in fig syrup, giving way to an array of warming winter spices, liquorice, stem ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, all caressed in old leather, cocoa and wonderful dark muscovado treacle.

Dunville’s Single Cask Series

The Single Cask Series showcases the very best whiskeys from Dunville’s warehouses, with each cask bottled at its optimum strength to deliver the stunning palate and rich mouthfeel that has become synonymous with The Spirit of Belfast.

Cask 1717 will also be available from selected retailers from Saturday 12 December (Celtic Whiskey Shop, Fairleys Wines Coleraine, Irish Malts and The Vineyard Belfast)

Dunville’s PX Cask Strength third release

We are expanding our award winning Dunville’s Irish Whiskey portfolio with the release of its latest PX Cask Strength Single Cask bottling.

Dunville’s PX Cask Strength 12 Year Old Single Malt Cask 1703 is the third PX Cask Strength expression from the Dunville’s Single Cask Series. Finished in the finest Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, bottled at 58.2% abv and limited to just 334 bottles, it will be available exclusively from our online shop from 8pm on Friday 20 November priced £112.

Dunville’s Single Cask Series

This is the third Cask Strength expression of our award winning 12 Year Old PX whiskey and the newest addition to our Single Cask Series, which showcases the very best whiskeys from our warehouses.

Each release from the Single Cask Series offers something different, with every cask bottled its optimum strength to deliver the stunning palate and rich mouthfeel that Dunville’s customers expect and deserve.

“Bottled at an impressive 58.2% abv – our highest strength release to date – Cask 1703 boasts notes of stewed orchard fruits, deep caramelised and syrupy stone fruits, rich warming spices and that signature Dunville’s PX candied orange grace note. It really is Christmas in a glass. It’s the perfect whiskey for the festive season.”

Jarlath Watson, The Echlinville Distillery, Custodians of Dunville’s Irish Whiskey

Pedro Ximénez sherry cask finish

Since the release of our Dunville’s PX 10 Year Old back in 2012 – the whiskey with which we revived the iconic Dunville’s brand – the PX sherry cask finish has become our best known expression and is something that we do very well. Dunville’s PX Cask Strength whiskeys are now a firm fixture in our Single Cask Series and have been very well received within the Irish whiskey family. As the Single Cask Series continues to evolve, we look forward to future Pedro Ximénez cask releases with some interesting twists and impressive age statements.

Tasting Notes

Nose – An initial hit of pears, first pear drops, then stewed pears going on to pear Tatin as the caramelised brown sugars come in. This is held in balance with lighter notes of fresh apricots, white peach and ripe grapes. Then the more familiar Dunville’s PX12 grace notes of stewed apples and candied orange, together with marzipan, nutmeg and dark chocolate.

Palate – Again, it’s starts off all about those deeply caramelised stewed orchard fruits, apples and pears, before the sherry cask starts to impose itself an array of dark stone fruits and spices; prunes, dates and raisins, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. And all the way though interlaced with orange peel, oak char and clean malt.

Finish – Rich and intense, syrupy and sweet. When those dark fruits and muscovado sugars finally subside we are treated to the final glorious encore of warm tongue tingling spices.

Overall – Stewed orchard fruits, deep caramelised and syrupy stone fruits, candied orange zest and rich warming spices. This is Christmas in a glass.

Echlinville Distillery to expand with £9m investment and 36 jobs

The Echlinville Distillery is to invest over £9million and create 36 new jobs as it expands its facilities with the help of funding from Invest Northern Ireland.

The distillery plans to increase production capacity and grow its brands of Irish whiskey and gin globally.

Making the announcement, Invest Northern Ireland’s CEO, Kevin Holland said: “Since establishing in 2012, Echlinville Distillery has developed a number of well-established brands which are making their mark on the international whiskey and gin market. This investment will enable it to grow further and develop its portfolio of award winning products. With an emphasis on brand development, it will also drive growth in global sales of its premium and ultra-premium Irish whiskey and gin.

“The investment includes the development of a new immersive visitor’s centre and the creation of 36 new jobs which is great news for the local Ards & North Down Borough Council area. Roles on offer include operational, administrative and visitor centre roles and once in place, will contribute over £1million of additional annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy.

“It is impressive to see a company in such a short period of time scale so quickly. We have assisted its trade activities, recently supporting it to secure a distribution agreement in Canada. The company’s Dunville whiskey is now on the shelves of almost 900 stores across Canada. Our partnership approach is clearly working and I look forward to seeing Echlinville’s export ambitions continuing to reap rewards.”

Shane Braniff, Owner of Echlinville Distillery said: “This investment will help us to substantially increase our production capacity and grow our export sales tenfold over the next five years. We are adding capacity in distillation, bottling, labelling, storage and brand development, all of which are key to further establishing our brands in major international markets including Russia and the US.”

Invest NI has offered Echlinville £659,000 of support towards the purchasing of new equipment, the extension of its storage facilities to meet anticipated demand for its products and the creation of 36 jobs.

Shane added: “As Northern Ireland’s first farm distillery, our whiskey has ‘field to glass’ traceability – something that is increasingly important in the global food and drink industry. We have built a strong reputation based on that approach and the quality of our products. Irish Whiskey is recognised as the world’s fastest growing spirits category, which is giving us a great foundation upon which to build our export business with the help of this funding from Invest NI.

“Every bottle that leaves our distillery features our address in Kircubbin and tells of our roots in the Ards Peninsula. Alongside increasing exports around the world, we also hope to raise awareness of what this part of Ireland has to offer and attract more visitors to the area with the development of a dedicated visitor centre. We look forward to continued growth in the years ahead and I would like to thank Invest NI for its continued support throughout our journey so far.”