Dunville’s is an old Irish whiskey brand that has been revised by Shane Braniff, the founder of Echlinville Distillery. Originally created in 1808, this brand was active and very successful for more than a century. At the end of the 19th century, Ireland was producing 14 million gallons of whiskey a year. Out of those 14 million cases, 2.5 million were distilled at The Royal Irish Distilleries – the original home of Dunville’s Irish Whiskey. Unfortunately, in 1931, Robert Lambart Dunville, the fifth Chairman of Dunville & Co. Ltd., died suddenly at the age of 38. He had only one surviving brother, living in Australia and who didn’t want to take over the company. The distillery lost its way, distillation stopped in 1935 and the distillery was liquidated the next year. The name stayed silent for 80 years, until Echlinville bought this Belfast brand in order to resuscitate it a few years ago. We’ll review today a recent years Dunville’s: the Dunville’s 10-year-old PX.
We’re back to Ireland today, with a Liberator from Wayward Irish Spirits. Wayward, as whiskey bonders, offer several ranges of whiskeys: The Liberator, and the Lakeview Single Estate Whiskey. The first one, Liberator, is sourced whiskey that they mature, finish, and bottle on their estate, whilst the Lakeview is distilled for Wayward but with grain from their own single estate, knowing exactly where do the grain comes from, the target being becoming a grain to glass distillery. They hope to start distilling on site in 2024. But for now, we’re trying a sourced whiskey they matured, finished and bottled: The Liberator Storehouse Special Malt X Moscatel. Yes, that’s a very long name.
We’re back after a short break, and before reaching my own 200th whisky review and start a series with some closed distilleries, let’s do a quick trip between Ireland and Japan. What we’re tasting today is an Irish whiskey bottled by Glendalough, that has been finished in Japanese Mizunara oak casks. It had been some months since I wanted to try this whiskey… and I had kind of forgot my good friend Wim @dram_gazette had sent me a sample ages ago! So let’s talk a bit about Glendalough and about what Mizunara is, then we’ll review the Glendalough 13-year-old Mizunara oak finish.
After a long wait, Dingle Distillery is finally releasing its fifth (and last) Single Pot Still small batch. Like with the fourth which was released at the end of 2020, it is available in two versions, one reduced at 46.5% ABV and one delivered at cask strength, in smaller quantities. Now, I want to add a disclaimer before I review the fourth and fifth releases, both in their reduced version.
Whilst the distillery is installed in a very old building, initially a mill constructed in the 1700s, in the heart of Dublin, it’s a very recent distillery that started production in 2019. The distillery is named after the Liberties district of Dublin, an historic district of this city. New distilleries have several choices when they start and until their whisk(e)y comes of age. They can produce unaged spirits like gin or vodka to have immediate income while the future whisky matures. They can also just wait the required three years, but that needs to have enough cash from the start as it means close to no income for the first few years, except maybe for the income from a visitor centre. And finally, they can source whisky from other distilleries, potentially blend it, mature it for an additional period, or finish it in a selection of casks, and sell it under their name with a markup. That’s the third choice Dublin Liberties Distillery did, and we’re now going to try four of their expressions, all sourced from undisclosed (as far as I know) Irish distilleries.
Fun fact: we’ve not written anything about Scotch whisky on this humble blog this year. We didn’t write much at all to be fair. And if you were expecting a Scotch whisky review here, well you’re going to have to wait a little more, as we go back to Ireland today. And even almost as far from Scotland as we could without leaving the UK and Ireland, as we’re going to the Dingle Peninsula. Put down that map and that ruler, it was a figure of speech, I know it’s not the furthest point on the map by quite a few miles. Dingle Distillery released a few weeks ago their first permanent expression, a single malt Irish whiskey, after releasing their previous single malts (and single pot still) as batches. But today, they’re becoming big girls and boys, and we’re going to see how well they did. Oh, and we have a guest that will bring his Scottishness with him, so that’s almost as if we reviewed a Scotch whisky today, right? No, that doesn’t count you say? Anyway, let’s have a chat with Graham Coull, Dingle’s master distiller, then we’ll review Dingle’s Single Malt. And I won’t go into a presentation of Dingle Distillery, my good friend Brian @MaltMusings did one that I invite you to go read. Cue the intro! (Ahem, I mean scroll down, I know we’re not on TV.)
We’re back for another Walsh WhiskeyTweet Tasting, yay! Last year’s one was a really good one, with drams going from good to reaaally good. So what did they have for us in store for this year? Let’s find out what they brought for this Walsh Whiskey Tweet Tasting 2021. And if you want to know more about Walsh Whiskey’s history, go read my article from last year, then come back here to have a few drams with me.
I guess you’re getting quite used to reading about Tweet Tastings from me now, as I’ve covered quite a few of them in the last 6 months… or more. Today, we’re back to an Irish bottler/blender, as we can see quite a lot these days. I guess it’s a sign the Irish whiskey industry is flourishing, so that’s quite good news! Let’s introduce The Quiet Man, before reviewing the three drams we got to try this time.
On the 20th of May I was one of the lucky people who were selected to participate to another Tweet Tasting. Hinch Distillery was the centre of the attention for that evening. Hinch is a very young distillery (so young that their own liquid doesn’t flow off the stills yet) from Northern Ireland, south of Belfast, in the town of Ballynahinch. The distillery obviously takes its name from the city’s name, which translates in Irish as “town of the island”. The distillery is in fact still on construction (a project of a mere £15 million!) and they plan to start distilling in 3 months’ time.
So, in order to have cash flow while waiting for their spirit to 1, flow, and 2, be old and mature enough to be called whisky, they do what many new Irish (and Scottish) distilleries do: they bought casks elsewhere. They sourced malt and grain whiskies from another distilleries : Great Northern Distillery, aka GND, or Cooley for the older stock (before it was sold to Beam Suntory) and blended and finished them, playing around with different casks for the finish.
Behind the fourteenth window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a psychedelic looking Irish Single Malt 13yo batch 2, bottled at 48.4% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. The psychedelic label for this undisclosed Irish single malt is a no subtle at all reference to the Lovely Horse from Father Ted, and I absolutely love it. Though the distillery is undisclosed, there is probably very little choice as it’s a single malt and not a single pot still: it’s very probably either Bushmills or Cooley. This Irish Single Malt 13yo batch 2 TBWC is sold for the quite modest price of £59.95 on Master of Malt.