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Echlinville success at World Drinks Awards

The Echlinville Distillery is celebrating another successful sweep at the World Drinks Awards with 11 wins across three competitions.

Our whiskeys picked up a total of eight World Whiskies Awards, including five ‘Ireland’s Best’ Category Wins and three Silver Medals. There also ‘Ireland’s Best’ titles for Weavers Spirits in the World Gin Awards and World Vodka Awards.

The latest wins bring Echlinville’s total awards haul to 113 global accolades since our distillery was founded in 2013, and further cements our place at the forefront of Ireland’s spirits renaissance.

The full list of winners includes:

World Whiskies Awards

  • Old Comber Irish Whiskey – Ireland’ Best Blended Whiskey (No Age Statement)
  • Dunville’s PX 10 Year Old Single Malt – Ireland’s Best Single Malt 12 Years & Under – 10 Year Old PX Cask
  • Dunville’s 20 Year Old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish – Ireland’s Best Single Malt 13-20 Years
  • Dunville’s PX 10 Year Old Cask Strength – Ireland’s Best Small Batch Single Malt 12 Years & Under
  • Dunville’s PX 22 Year Old Cask Strength – Ireland’s Best Single Cask 21 Years & Over
  • Dunville’s 1808 – Silver Medal
  • Dunville’s PX 22 Year Old Single Malt – Silver Medal
  • Dunville’s 1808 Dick Mack’s East To West Honey & Hemp IPA Finish – Silver Medal

World Gin Awards

  • Weavers Gin – Ireland’s Best Classic Gin
  • Echlinville Gin – Silver Medal

World Vodka Awards

  • Weavers Vodka – Ireland’s Best Varietal Vodka

All of our ‘Ireland’s Best’ Category Winners will now go through to the global final at the World Drinks Awards, competing against other country winners for the title of World’s Best whiskey, gin or vodka.

Weavers Gin bottle shortlisted for design award

We are delighted to announce that our Weavers Gin bottle has been shortlisted for the UK Packaging Awards 2021.

If you have ever seen this beautiful blue bottle, this news may not come as a surprise. We might be biased, but we do think it is one of the most beautiful gin bottles out there. It seems the people at the UK Packaging Awards agree.

With the gin market booming, there is an ever-increasing number of gins competing for space and attention on back bars and retailers’ shelves. When it comes to attracting potential customers, the design of the bottle can be just as important as the liquid inside. But when you browse the gin offerings in your favourite cocktail bar or local off sales, have you ever wondered about the story behind the bottle?

The story behind the bottle

Weavers Gin is inspired by the linen industry in Ulster and Ireland as a whole. For more than three centuries, linen was Ireland’s most important industry. Belfast, in particular, was a huge centre for linen production. In fact, it was Belfast’s biggest industry – bigger than ship building or whiskey.

From the botanicals used in distillation, to the bespoke glass design and the label on the bottle, Weavers Gin is a celebration of that proud linen heritage.

Irish linen

Irish linen was famous around the world. It adorned the tables of royalty, graced the dressing rooms of the rich and famous. It even coated the wings of the first airplanes or ‘bi-planes’ and helped some of the first aviators take to the skies, including the Royal Flying Corps in World War One.

Linen production was spread across the whole country, from the cities to the most rural parts of Ireland. While the towns were home to scores of linen mills and factories, the countryside would have been filled with flax fields growing the raw materials for the industry. Bleaching greens were also a common sight, where huge sheets of newly woven linen were laid out in the fields to lighten dry in the summer sun.

Weavers Irish Gin is crafted in honour of the thousands of men and women who laboured in the linen mills and toiled in the flax fields to make Irish linen the envy of the world. Infused with Irish flax seeds for extra smoothness, Weavers Gin is as crisp, cool and clean as the linen it is inspired by.

Bottle colour

This isn’t just another blue gin bottle. The Weavers bottle is flax flower blue. Flax is the raw material for the linen industry. Back in Ireland’s linen heyday, the countryside would have been blue with the colour of the flax flowers blooming in the fields. That pure, gentle blue is captured beautifully in the blue hue of the glass used to make the Weavers Gin bottle.

Bottle design

The first thing you may notice when you pick up a bottle of Weavers Gin (apart from how beautiful it is), is that it is quite heavy. This immediately gives the impression of a premium, quality product. We wanted the bottle to look and feel strong. The size, shape and weight of the bottle reflect the strength and stature of the linen industry, which was once the biggest industry in Ulster – bigger than ship building or whiskey, for which Ulster and Belfast are perhaps most famous.

The bespoke bottle design incorporates a few nods to Ireland’s linen industry. In particular, the vertical lines that decorate the Weavers Gin bottle are reminiscent of the rows of flax plants that would have grown in fields up and down the country. Flax is a ‘row crop’, planted in straight lines, and so we have incorporated this into the bottle design.

The words ‘Excellence Instilled’ can be found at the bottom of the Weavers Gin bottle. It is a trademark of The Echlinville Distillery and reflects our ethos of pursuing excellence at every stage of the production process, from field to glass.

The label

The colours in the label are primarily blue, to reflect the flax flowers and linen production’s agricultural roots, and silver to reflect the industrial element of linen production and the technology used in the mills and factories around Ireland. Indeed, at the top of the label we have placed a blue flax flower within the silver cogs of industry.

The Weavers Gin label is beautifully intricate to reflect the craftsmanship and craftswomanship involved in fine linen production. The decorative swirls on the outer four corners of the label is a reproduction of the damask design on the linen tablecloths on the Titanic.

So that is the story of Weavers Gin. The stunning liquid and beautiful bottle – both as crisp, cool and clean as the linen they are inspired by.

Our thanks to our colleagues at Stoelzle Glass Group, Mark Thompson Design and Reflex Labels for helping us create this stunning bottle.

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 Trade inquiries to [email protected]

Echlinville Gin named Ireland’s Best Contemporary Style Gin

Echlinville Single Estate Irish Pot Still Gin has been named Best Irish Contemporary Style Gin at the World Gin Awards.

Echlinville Gin is now in the running for the title of World’s Best Contemporary Style Gin, the winner of which will be announced at the World Gin Awards on 21 February.

This is the latest accolade for Echlinville Gin, which won the Gold Medal in the Irish Gin category at the Irish Whiskey Awards 2018 and a coveted Three Star rating at the Great Taste Awards in 2017.

We are one of the few distilleries to distil our own neutral base spirit for our gin. Echlinville Gin is crafted only from barley grown, harvested and floor malted on ourdistillery farm. The malted barley is mashed, fermented and ‘trickle pot distilled’ to create the unique base spirit that sets Echlinville Gin apart in terms of taste and provenance.

Infused with carefully selected botanicals including local gorse flower petals and seaweed from Strangford Lough, Echlinville Gin is complex and perfectly balanced, boasting fresh floral and zesty citrus notes. Sweet and smooth, with a malt character and rich creamy mouthfeel, it is as comfortable sipped neat as it is in the company of elderflower tonic, lemon and mint, its recommended serve.

Echlinville Gin wins top 3 Star rating at Great Taste Awards

Echlinville Single Estate Irish Pot Still Gin has received one of the world’s most sought-after food and drink awards – a coveted Three Star rating at the Great Taste Awards.

Distilled from field-to-glass at The Echlinville Distillery in Co. Down (Northern Ireland), Echlinville Gin is the only Irish gin, and one of only eight spirits in total, to achieve Great Taste’s top rating. The Three Star award secures Echlinville Gin’s place among the best gins in the world.

Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is regarded as the most respected accreditation scheme for food and drink producers.

12,366 products were entered for this year’s competition, with just 165 awarded the highest possible Three Star rating – reserved for those whose taste is judged to be ‘exquisite’ or ‘wow’.

“In a world filling up with gins, this one stands out”

The judging panel described Echlinville Gin as ‘exceptional’, ‘quite stunning’ and ‘truly outstanding’, saying:”In a world filling up with gins, this one stands out.”

Speaking about the award, Echlinville Distillery founder and owner Shane Braniff said: “We are hugely proud that Echlinville Gin has been listed among the top-rated products at Great Taste 2017. The Great Taste label is a badge of honour and a signpost to an exquisite tasting product.

“Echlinville Gin is made with a unique barley neutral base spirit distilled from barley grown and floor malted on the distillery farm. To distil your own neutral spirit is something of a rarity in the gin business, and sets Echlinville Gin apart from its competitors. Few distilleries in the world can offer a gin of such provenance.

“From field to glass, every stage of Echlinville Gin’s journey has been perfected at our distillery, and we are delighted that it has been recognised with this seal of approval from Great Taste and The Guild of Fine Food.”

A gin true of place

Shane continued:”The heart of gin may be juniper, but the soul of any spirit comes from its connection to the place where it is made. We are very proud of our roots in the Ards Peninsula, and that sense of place is the essence of our gin. Our homegrown Echlinville barley, Strangford Lough sweet kelp, indigenous whin bush petals and an array of hand-picked botanicals combine to give our gin a true connection to the land and the sea.

“The malted barley neutral spirit gives a balanced complexity, malt character and creamy mouthfeel that was noted by the Great Taste judges. It is as comfortable sipped neat as it is in the company of elderflower tonic, lemon and mint, its recommended serve.”

Award winning distillery

Believed to be Ireland’s only ‘field to glass’ distillery, all Echlinville’s new-make spirit is distilled from barley grown, harvest and floor malted on the distillery’s own farmland.

Shane continued: “Echlinville was Northern Ireland’s first newly licensed distillery in over 125 years and we have established ourselves at the forefront of Ireland’s spirits renaissance. Primarily a whiskey distillery, we began distilling in 2013 and laid down our first casks of single malt and pot still whiskeys, which came of age last year.

“All our new-make spirit is distilled from barley grown and malted on our own land. From reviving the tradition of distillery floor malting to perfecting the art of trickle pot distillation, we have departed from modern distillery norms in the quest to produce spirits with the finest possible taste and character. Our commitment to quality is at the heart of everything we do, and we are delighted that has been recognised by Great Taste.”

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