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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.

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.

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

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.”

Video: Dunville’s VR 18 Year Old Rum Finish Whiskey Launch

The Harp Bar in Belfast provided the perfect backdrop for the launch of Dunville’s VR 18 Year Old Rum Finish Irish Whiskey.

This cask strength (57% abv) limited release is from the first of eight incredibly rare casks from the lost Port Mourant Estate Distillery in Guyana – casks that previously nurtured an exceptional 41 year old Demerara Rum from the world’s last surviving double wooden pot still.

With four international awards already to its name, this Single Cask bottling is the jewel in the crown of the Dunville’s Irish Whiskey portfolio. The limited edition bottling is presented in an exquisite collector’s box, the contents of which have been carefully curated to reflect both Dunville’s rich heritage and the unique provenance of the rare rum casks in which the whiskey has been finished.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the launch. Enjoy the highlights.

Dunville’s Irish Whiskey website goes live

We are delighted to unveil our new Dunville’s Irish Whiskey website. The Spirit of Belfast’s new online home at www.dunvilleswhiskey.com charts the story of Dunville’s from its birth in 1808 through to its rebirth at Echlinville in 2012 and the award-winning brand’s ongoing success.

Featuring whiskeys from across the Dunville’s range, the site also links to Echlinville’s new online shop where customers can purchase Dunville’s Whiskey and gifts directly from the distillery’s new ecommerce platform.

For product information visit www.dunvilleswhiskey.com and follow Dunville’s Irish Whiskey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Echlinville raises a glass on its fifth birthday

The Echlinville Distillery is celebrating as its whiskey turns five years old. The Kircubbin based whiskey and gin producer became the first new distillery in Northern Ireland for more than 125 years when it received its license and casked its first spirit on 5 August 2013.

Echlinville has since established itself at the forefront of Ireland’s burgeoning spirits industry and is home to some of the country’s best-known and respected brands including Dunville’s Irish Whiskey, Jawbox Gin, Echlinville Single Estate Irish Pot Still Gin and Bán Poitín.

Sunday 5 August will be a momentous day for Echlinville as their first casks of whiskey reach their milestone fifth birthday – a birthday they share with distillery owner Shane Braniff.

Reflecting on five years of business, Shane said: “After numerous years of planning and perseverance, in the summer of 2013 our vision to create Ireland’s first field-to-glass distillery finally became a reality when the first spirit trickled from Echlinville’s stills. We filled our first casks on 5 August and five years later the business has grown beyond our expectations.

“We started as a team of three. Now we have more than 20 staff who produce our spirit from the ground up. From growing, harvesting and floor malting our barley, to mashing and fermenting the grains, distilling and maturing the spirit, to hand bottling and labelling our products, everything is done right here at our farm distillery. Our roots are firmly, and quite literally, in the Ards Peninsula. We grow, produce and employ local and that is something we are incredibly proud of.”

The Pot Still and Single Malt whiskeys from Echlinville’s innovative first distillations may have reached the landmark five year mark, but they will continue to mature in the distillery’s cask warehouse. Shane continues: “We recently debuted some of our Echlinville Whiskey at a tasting in Dingle, Co. Kerry, with some of our friends at the Irish Whiskey Society. We were delighted with how it was received, but we won’t be releasing it any time soon. Whiskey is all about time, and we are willing to give ours all the time it needs to be among the best in Ireland, if not the world.”

Global recognition

Although primarily a whiskey distillery, Echlinville’s portfolio has expanded to include gin, vodka and poitín, with their products exported across Europe and as far as the USA, New Zealand and the middle east.

Shane continues: “Irish whiskey is the world’s fastest growing spirits category. From the Ards Peninsula to the Dingle Peninsula, from Midleton to Dublin and from Derry to Waterford, Ireland’s whiskey industry is going from strength to strength, and we are delighted to be a part of it. We are building a strong reputation based on our field-to-glass approach and the quality of our spirits. With 17 international awards under our belt, Echlinville’s products are already held in high esteem within the global spirits industry, and that’s a great foundation upon which we can continue to build our export business.”

The Spirit of Belfast

“One of our founding goals in 2013 was to revive the historic Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand after almost 80 years in the whiskey wilderness. Now with ten major accolades to its name, we are proud to have restored Dunville’s to its rightful place among the premier whiskeys of the world. That is certainly one of the major achievements of our first five years in business.

“We recently released our new Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old Single Malt expression, and with the upcoming launch of our award winning Dunville’s 18 Year Old Port Mourant Rum Finish Whiskey, there is much more to come from The Spirit of Belfast.”

Echlinville’s success isn’t limited to whiskey. Echlinville Single Estate Irish Pot Still Gin was awarded the coveted Three Star rating at last year’s Great Taste Awards. Echlinville is also the home of Jawbox, one of Ireland’s most popular gins. And its Bán Poitín has been crowned Ireland’s Best Poitín at the Irish Whiskey Awards for two years running.

Vision for whiskey tourism

Echlinville has also made a name for itself on the whiskey tourist trail, with its distillery tours attracting visitors from home and abroad.

Shane continues: “Echlinville’s sense of place and family feel seem to resonate with our many visitors. Our philosophy is to celebrate the sights, smells and tastes of Echlinville and the Ards Peninsula. The heart of whiskey may be grain and oak, but the soul of any spirit is its connection to the place where it is made. We are proud of our roots in the Ards Peninsula. That pride of place is the essence of everything we do. It has been our driving force for the past five years and propels our plans for the future.”

Echlinville plans to extend its tour experience by converting its 17th century courtyard buildings into a state-of-the-art visitors’ centre. The development will incorporate a museum, restaurant and tourist accommodation and is key to Shane’s vision to transform the distillery into one of the east coast’s premier visitor attractions.

He concludes: “This corner of Ireland has much to offer in terms of tourism and is already home to some fabulous attractions, but overall its potential remains relatively untapped. We want to help change that by working with nearby attractions and tourism bodies to develop the area as a must-see destination.

“The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy speaks of a vision for an all-island whiskey tourism product. For a long time now, whiskey tourism in Ulster has focussed on the north coast, and rightly so. But in a short space of time, our distillery has earned its place on an Irish whiskey map that has been transformed in recent years. We look forward to working together with our friends and colleagues across the industry to promote Ireland as a premier whiskey tourism destination.”

Echlinville back Distillery Football Club with iconic Dunville’s brand

The Echlinville Distillery is continuing its valued sponsorship with Lisburn Distillery Football Club as the ‘back of shirt’ sponsor for the 2018-2019 season.

This is the third consecutive season that Echlinville has sponsored the club. For the forthcoming season the distillery’s multi-award winning Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand will appear on the first team home and away kits. There is added historical significance to the partnership in that Echlinville is home to the iconic Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand.  Distillery Football Club was originally founded by employees of the Dunville’s distillery – then based in Belfast – in 1880. The distillery closed its doors in 1936 and Dunville’s Whiskey was consigned to history until Echlinville revived the brand in 2013.

The Echlinville Distillery will also continue to sponsor the popular Player of the Month award. This will now be known as ‘The Dunville’s Whiskey Player of the Month Award’.

Lisburn Distillery director Terry Thompson said; “I would like to thank everyone at The Echlinville Distillery for continuing their much valued sponsorship – it really is very genuinely appreciated by everyone involved with the club. We had a positive season last year on the pitch and we hope to build on that again.

@We have had a great relationship with Echlinville for the the last two seasons and have watched them go from strength to strength on many fronts and it will be with great pleasure and pride that we will have “Dunville’s” on our shirts this season. To be re-connected with Dunville’s again is something very special indeed and it would be fantastic if we could transfer some of that award-winning spirit from the cask to the pitch over the forthcoming season. Again, I would like to thank Shane Braniff and the Echlinville team for their generous support.“

Shane Braniff, owner of The Echlinville Distillery, said: “We are delighted to continue our successful relationship with Lisburn Distillery Football Club. It was the founding goal of The Echlinville Distillery to revive the iconic Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand and introduce ‘The Spirit of Belfast’ to a new generation of whiskey enthusiasts. As Dunville’s spiritual home, it makes perfect sense for us to rekindle the relationship between Dunville’s Irish Whiskey and Distillery Football Club. With the recent release of our Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old Single Malt and excitement building for the upcoming release of our multi-award winning 17 Year Old Port Mourant Rum Finish Whiskey, the 2018/19 season is looking bright for Dunville’s Whiskey and, we hope too, for Lisburn Distillery FC. We wish everyone at the club the best of luck in the new season.”