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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.”

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

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.”