Dunville’s 12 year old

Ever since I first tried the Dunville’s PX 10 year old at Whiskey Live a few years ago I have been intrigued. Partially because of the excitement of it at the time, a PX matured Irish whiskey released from Echlinville Distillery. Mostly though it was because of how good it was. It gained a little spot in my heart. So when I heard a new 12 year old was being launched, I prayed that it would be ruined for me. Spoiler alert…..it wasn’t ruined! It was lifted into greatness.

The 12 year old is the exact same juice as the 10 years old……but obviously matured for a further 2 years! In the 10 year old review I guessed that it was Cooley stock and I’m sticking with that! While Bushmills did do double distilled malt this just doesn’t have the signature Bushmills profile and finish. The 12 has been finished in PX hogsheads and not the typical sherry butt you’d expect. Finished for 2-3 years in these smaller casks really has a profound impact on the whiskey. The smaller the cask, the more contact there actually is with the liquid which leads to a faster aging and imparting of flavours. Batch one had only approximately 900 bottles (Dave’s Irish Whiskey, Whiskeytalk2u and myself bought most of them by the looks of it!). While it’s almost sold out, Celtic Whiskey Shop has some at time of writing this which is retailing at just under €90 here). I hear that batch two is coming shortly in a newly designed bottle and tube.

Nose – Very light pepper spice to being with that’s nicely complimented with tropical fruit such as banana. There’s a slight christmas cake nose that appears but doesn’t shout and roar sherry finish, but has enough for you to know its there.

Palate – Wow. This is a massive step up from the 10yr old, which is a great drop! Lovely long slow legs on the glass. It has a softer malt taste than it’s younger brother and it’s also much sweeter! Very slight heat from the 46% ABV but nothing harsh. Loads of green apples and, in a good way, freshly cut grass……no I’ve never tasted fresh cut grass but you get the idea. I hadn’t got that on the nose! Sherry influence isn’t too overpowering, with the whiskey itself being the star of this show. Their is a nice raisin and dried figs note to it.

Finish – Medium finish where the slight warmth continues for a short while. Sweetness continues with some custard notes trailing off at the very end.

Overall – I have a bottle of Dunville 10 on my shelf at the moment and I do enjoy it, but this 12 year old kicks it up to another level. I found it to be a much more balanced whiskey with the sherry influence just right for the malt. The addition of water rowed back on some of the heat from the 46% ABV but other than that, it didn’t seem to elevate anything else for me.

So what’s next from Echlinville?? A little birdie tells me there is a Dunville’s 18 year old Port Mourant Rum finish on the way. I might have tasted it. I may have liked it. Stay tuned!

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