Dunville's 1808 Irish Whiskey blend is the epitome of a comeback story. Once one of the most popular and famous Irish Whiskey brands, Dunville's went extinct almost a century ago. Luckily for all of us, the brand was revived by the Echlinville Distillery ten years ago.
The brand's origins date back to the beginning of the 19th century when Dunville & Company started as a whiskey blender. Their two blends, Dunville's VR and Dunville's Three Crowns were extremely popular, making them some of the best selling and most famous Irish whiskeys in the world. As a result Dunville & Co. built a distillery in 1869 to produce their blends. The Royal Irish Distillery in Belfast was one of the most modern and largest in the country with a capacity of more than 2.5 million gallons per year.
The distillery flourished through five generations of the Dunville family; however, its demise was fairly sudden and not typical. Despite losing the American market similar to other distilleries, Dunville remained profitable throughout Prohibition. It was the sudden death of their Chairman at a young age which led to the company's downfall. With no heirs to continue running the distillery, Dunville began to flounder until the Board of Directors decided to self liquidate the profitable company in 1936.
For 80 years, the brand was only available through auctions if bottles or old memorabilia could even be found. In 2013, the Echlinville Distillery opened in Northern Ireland as an independent, family owned farm distillery. In addition to producing their own spirit, they also revived the Dunville brand name and released updated versions of VR and Three Crowns in 2016.
In 2021, they released Dunville's 1808, an homage to the year the brand started in Belfast. The latest addition to the Dunville's range is a 40% abv blend of all three Irish Whiskey styles: sourced grain, sourced peated malt, sourced single malt, and single pot still distilled at Echlinville. The sourced components are from Great Northern Distillery in Co. Louth. It is a non-age statement blend matured in American oak casks.
OFFICIAL TASTING NOTES:
Nose: Initial burst of sweet vanilla leads to crisp orchard fruits, apples and pears. Then lemon curd, leading on to candied Lemon peel over notes of clean malt.
Palate: Soft and creamy mouthfeel, buttery, with ripened citrus and baked biscuit, coming together in a burst of fresh lemon meringue, followed by a wisp of char and white pepper.
Finish: Slight hints of dry smoke linger and intertwine with the juicier fruit notes, carrying through to a finish of sweet spice.
This revived brand expression is now the flagship of their core range of offerings and proudly bears the name "Spirit of Belfast".
Widely available in the US for +/- $25.