One of the single most eye catching bottles that has been released in the last few years is up for review this evening. The Dunville 10 yr old bottle just screams old world magic when it sits on a shelf. Green glass coupled with a 1900s label, there is just something about it. And, more importantly, the liquid measures up to initial impressions of the bottle design too!
The brand Dunvilles has been around since 1825 when it was founded as a tea and spirits merchant in Belfast. Like a lot of merchants of it’s time, it started blending and bottling sourced whisky. In 1869 their whisky had become so popular that they constructed their own distillery, The Royal Irish Distilleries in Belfast. With 5 pot stills and a Coffey still they had an output of 2.5 million gallons per year. An impressive output that made them one of the largest on the Island of Ireland. While prohibition in the USA did affect Dunvilles, it didn’t close them and they remained a very profitable distillery right up until the 1930s. In 1931 the last remaining Dunville that sat on the board of directors passed away and by 1936, the remaining directors had decided to liquidate the company. What is fascinating about the decision to liquidate is that the company was still profitable and liquidation was not forced on them. Most other distilleries, if not all in Ireland that closed, were forced to close by creditors.
From 1936 the Dunville label remained dormant. It was all but lost to history until 2013 when Shane Braniff and his Echlinville Distillery acquired the rights to the brand and revived it. Using an original bottle as a template, they all but matched the label and bottle design but now called it Whiskey as opposed to Whisky as was traditionally used by Dunvilles. The Dunville 10 year old Single Malt is sourced whiskey that is finished by Echlinville in a Pedro Ximénez (PX) Sherry cask. I cant seem to find anything conclusive about the spirit used and I’m thrown up if it’s Bushmills or Cooley. It has properties of both but I’m slightly leaning towards Cooley. This is bottled at 46%, is non-chill filtered and retails for approximately €70.
Nose – Real Irish malt nose. Green apples, vanilla and a slight raisin note. PX cask isn’t overpowering. Some almonds in there. Water peals back the malt and allows the PX to shine more giving some dark chocolate notes.
Palate – Black pepper and malt seem to take the lead for me. Slight citrus note of orange and a weird but pleasant floral taste! Water allows it to become sweeter with a note of berries.
Finish – Medium finish with a large oak note lingering.
Overall – A very very enjoyable whiskey. It does, however, need a few minutes in air to mellow slightly. Echlinville have proven their ability to produce an exceptional finished whiskey that is really enjoyable. Its a stand out whiskey that I first tried at Whiskey Live a few years ago and the following day, I went to Celtic Whiskey and bought a bottle! And if you think this sounds good, their 12 year old PX finish is even better! (I’ll have that up for review in a few weeks. Word of warning when trying this, don’t add too much water. Just a drop. I ruined my first measure by putting in too much!!