Our October whiskey tasting was a fantastic night hosted by Jarlath Watson of The Echlinville Distillery. Jarlath brought us their Dunville's Irish Whiskey range to taste which did not disappoint. To a full house, Jarlath went into the origins of the Dunville brand and the Echlinville distillery. Dunvilles distillery was started in 1808 and went from making tea to whiskey. It went on to be one of the biggest and most influential whiskey distilleries in the world. It closed in 1936 not because it ran out of money but because it ran out of heirs!
Almost 8 decades later the Echlinville Estate was purchased and with it the revival of the Dunville whiskey name. Their ethos is that all the Echlinville range whiskey will come from barley grown on the estate, malted in it’s own malthouses, distilled in it’s own distillery and bottled right on site.
Jarlath brought 7 whiskeys for us to taste from the Dunvilles range and we started off with the Dunvilles Three Crowns blended whiskey at 43%. This is a truly lovely everyday whiskey and was voted Best Irish Blended Whiskey in the World Whiskies Awards 2019.
Next was a real surprise – Dunvilles Three Crowns Blended Peated Whiskey. Their traditional Dunvilles Three Crowns whiskey is left to mature for 14 months in Scottish peated whiskey casks to add that intense smokey flavour. This was a truly exceptional whiskey. While the peatiness is very strong and adds an intense flavour, it is not as harsh as the traditional peated Scottish whiskeys as the flavour doesn't come from the barley but from the casks themselves. This was a real conversation topic on the night.
Following that we had a break from the whiskey and tasted the Bán Poitín, a 48% poitín made from malted barley, potato and sugar cane. This is a raw and earthy spirit perfect for cocktails with a real sweetness to it.
Next came the Dunvilles PX12 whiskey, a real winner, having won awards at the World Whiskies Awards 2019 and the Irish Whiskey Awards 2018. Full of sherry and oak influences and bottled at 46% this whiskey is a beautiful single malt with complex flavours.
Following that we tried the Dunvilles PX12 Cask strength whiskey which was absolutely amazing at 57%. This is a whiskey that you would linger over all evening with it’s depth of flavour. The sherry finish gives a sweetness and warmth along with a beautiful deep colour.
After that, we tasted the rare and expensive Dunvilles 18yr Port Mourant Rum finish single malt. This exceptional whiskey has been masterfully finished in only eight speciality casks from the lost Port Mourant Estate Distillery in Guyana. Those casks previously nurtured an incredibly rare 41 year old Demerara Rum from the world’s last surviving double wooden pot still. This whiskey has understandably won numerous. It comes in a beautiful presentation box which we raffled off and was won by a very happy member of the Waterford Whiskey Society.
Finally Jarlath brought us a mystery whiskey, 18 years old bottled at 58% and matured in oxidised Olorosso Palo Cortado sherry butts. This whiskey was a double distilled single malt with a really interesting dry finish. If this is a taste of things to come from Echlinville distillery, we are in for some amazing and complex whiskeys in the future.
The evening was a roaring success with the Dunvilles PX 12 Cask Strength being the clear favourite. Davy Macs put on an amazing spread of food for us and nobody wanted to leave at the end of the night. We would like to thank Jarlath for a fabulous evening and we look forward to seeing all our members at our final tasting of the year next month.