I’ve never written about Dunville’s before on this blog, so let’s do it. The main reason why I’ve never mentioned them is that I want to avoid writing about whiskeys that you can’t buy – after all if people read a review and the whiskey sounds like a good one, it’s nice if the whiskey is actually available to buy somewhere. Most Dunville whiskeys I’ve tried have been those mega-hyped single casks that I had the opportunity to taste with Cork whiskey society in February 2020, and at Whiskey Live 2019.
But the Echlinville folks have some core range whiskeys too, and I tasted some of them at a Talkdram tasting earlier this year. From what I remember, this was shortly after their new blend, Dunville’s 1808, had been released.
Echlinville distillery has been around for quite a while now, at least compared to most other new distilleries on the island of Ireland. There’s not yet anything said about launching their own whiskey, which is fine of course, releasing a whiskey as soon as it can legally be called whiskey is not for everyone. However, some of their own pot still whiskey has been used for the 1808 blend.
Dunville’s 1808, 40%
The 1808 name celebrates the date (11th of October 1808) when the Dunville brand was born. The whiskey consists of 70% grain whiskey, 25% malt whiskey, and 5% pot still whiskey made at Echlinvile distillery. There is some peat in one (or more?) of these components.
Medium nose with dry smoke, almonds or perhaps hazelnut, apple, pear juice from my childhood, fizzy cola bottles, leather, vanilla, and lemon curd.
The smoke is very present on the palate too, with a nice spiciness. There are pears, apples, vanilla, and spongecake. Medium finish with nutmeg type spice, leather, and a darker type of fruits than what I found earlier.
I have mixed emotions about this whiskey – sometimes I really like it, other times I find it very odd with the smoke and orchard fruits together. But what I do appreciate is to see a blend on the shelves that offers something different. I have nothing against classic Irish blends, but variety is a good thing! It’s also good to see Echlinville start using some of their own spirit. As always, I’m curious about new distilleries and their own not-yet-released whiskey.
When I’m up to it, I’ll try this in a cocktail (there’s a recipe on Echlinville’s website, by the way). I’m a big fan of cocktails with a smoky twist. You really should try it if you haven’t!
This whiskey is very nicely priced, and you can buy it (and other Dunville’s whiskeys) here.