Echlinville Distillery Logo

Echlinville Distillery

  • Ireland
  • World Whiskies Awards 2023, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021, Irish Whiskey Awards
Phone Number
  • +442842738597
  • 62 Gransha Rd, Kircubbin, Newtownards BT22 1AJ, United Kingdom

Echlinville Distillery building exterior with clear skies.

History of Echlinville Distillery

The Echlinville Distillery, located in Newtownards, Ireland, is celebrated as the country’s first farm distillery. It was established on land that has been farmed by the same family for generations, emphasizing a field-to-glass ethos. 

The distillery crafts its spirits, including premium whiskey, gin, and poitín, using barley grown, harvested, and malted on their family farm. This process, deeply rooted in tradition, involves hand-malting the barley on the distillery’s malting floor.

The distillery’s history is intertwined with the Echlin family, who settled in the Ards Peninsula in 1613. The Echlinville Estate, which later became the site of the distillery, was established by the Echlin family in the 17th century. 

In 2007, Shane Braniff, a local farmer and businessman, purchased the Echlinville Manor House with the vision of creating Ireland’s first field-to-glass farm distillery. This vision came to fruition in 2013 when Echlinville was granted its distilling license, marking it as the first new distillery in Northern Ireland in over 125 years.

Product Ranges from Echlinville Distillery

Echlinville Distillery’s product range includes Echlinville Whiskey, which became officially recognized as whiskey in 2016 after maturing for three years. 

In 2017, they introduced Ireland’s first super-premium field-to-glass gin, Echlinville Irish Pot Still Gin. The distillery also revived several historic whiskey brands, including Dunville’s Irish Whiskey in 2012, Old Comber Irish Pot Still Whiskey, and Matt D’Arcy’s Irish Whiskey in 2021.

Additionally, they launched Weavers Gin in 2019, inspired by the story of Irish linen and awarded Ireland’s Best Classic Gin at the World Gin Awards.

Throughout its history, Echlinville Distillery has remained committed to excellence, instilling this principle in every aspect of their spirit production, from the careful cultivation of their barley to the meticulous distillation process.



Awards Won by Echlinville Distillery

World Whiskies Awards 2023: The distillery celebrated 13 wins at this event, including a dozen awards for the Dunville’s Irish Whiskey portfolio and recognition for the Old Comber Whiskey as one of Ireland’s top pot still whiskeys​​​​​​.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021: Echlinville Distillery won five awards here, one of the industry’s most esteemed contests. The awards included Double Gold Medals for Dunville’s Three Crowns and Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old​​.

Irish Whiskey Awards: Echlinville Distillery achieved outstanding success, winning a category and two gold medals. Notably, Dunville’s Irish Whiskey was also named Ireland’s Best Whiskey​​​​​​.

Additional Recognitions at the World Whiskies Awards and Irish Whiskey Awards: Over the years, Echlinville’s Dunville’s Irish Whiskey has consistently won significant prizes, including being named Ireland’s Best Single Malt and Ireland’s Best Single Cask Whiskey at the World Whiskies Awards. The Dunville’s 12 Year Old PX Cask Strength Irish Whiskey was awarded Best Cask Strength Whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Awards​​​​​​.

UK Packaging Awards 2021: Echlinville’s Weavers Gin bottle was shortlisted, showcasing the distillery’s commitment to excellence not only in spirit production but also in packaging design.

Echlinville Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Echlinville Distillery offers a variety of unique visitor experiences, each designed to showcase the distillery’s rich heritage and exquisite spirit range. Here’s an overview of the experiences available:

Tour & Tipple

This tour provides a comprehensive insight into the workings of Echlinville Distillery. Visitors are guided through the field-to-glass journey of the spirits, including the sowing, growing, harvesting, and floor malting of their own barley.

The tour includes a view of the copper stills and the whiskey maturation warehouse. Concluding with a relaxing session, guests can enjoy two drinks of their choice from the distillery’s range of whiskey, gin, or poitín.

The experience also includes a visit to the distillery shop and a stroll through the historic Echlinville Estate.

Spirits & Cheese

This experience combines a tour of the distillery with a tasting of Echlinville’s Irish whiskeys, gins, and poitín, paired with a selection of Ireland’s finest cheeses from Indie Fude. It also includes a welcome drink and a walk through the Echlinville Estate.

Spirits & Chocolate

In collaboration with The Chocolate Manor, this experience includes a distillery tour followed by a pairing of artisan chocolates with Echlinville’s spirits.

Participants also get to partake in a chocolate truffle masterclass. The ticket includes a welcome drink, spirit samples, and a chocolate selection.

Burgers, Beer & Spirits

This upcoming event promises an afternoon of gourmet burgers by Ballyboley Dexters, craft beer by Modest Beer, and Echlinville’s premium whiskeys and gins.

It includes a distillery tour, a G&T welcome drink, and a ‘meet the makers’ session with the producers of the featured food and drinks.

Private Bookings

Echlinville Distillery offers tailored experiences for special occasions, family celebrations, or corporate events. These can include distillery tours, whiskey or gin tasting experiences, afternoon tea, or light refreshments.

Café & Walks

The Distiller’s Rest Café and the Echlinville Pathways offer a more casual experience. Visitors can enjoy coffee, tea, and sweet treats at the café and explore the Echlinville Estate on the new visitor walking trail.

Additionally, Echlinville Distillery offers gift vouchers, which can be redeemed against any of these visitor experiences or at the distillery shop, making them an ideal gift for spirit enthusiasts.

Flask & Barrel Review of Echlinville Distillery

So, I just had the chance to visit Echlinville Distillery, and let me tell you, it’s pretty awesome. As a whiskey collector who’s been on a fair share of distillery tours, I’ve got some high standards, and Echlinville totally impressed me.

First off, the setting is killer. Nestled in County Down, Northern Ireland, the place oozes charm and history. The staff? Super friendly and knowledgeable. They really know their stuff and are passionate about what they do. It’s contagious!

Now, the main event: the whiskey. Their Dunville’s Irish Whiskey is top-notch. Each sip was a journey through rich flavors and smooth finishes. And the Old Comber Whiskey? A delightful surprise – definitely a hidden gem.

The tour itself was a great blend of education and entertainment. I learned a ton about their process and the history of the distillery. Plus, their commitment to quality and tradition really shines through.

If I had to nitpick, the only thing I’d say is that the tour felt a bit rushed. I would’ve loved to linger a bit more, especially during the tasting part. Also, some more merchandise options would be cool.

Overall, I’m giving Echlinville Distillery a solid 4.7 out of 5. It’s a must-visit for any whiskey enthusiast. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

What To Do Nearby Echlinville Distillery

There’s a bunch of neat places and activities around Echlinville Distillery definitely add to your trip. Here’s a casual guide for you:

Ulster Folk Museum & Ulster Transport Museum: Step back in time at the Ulster Folk Museum, where you can see how people lived a hundred years ago.

It’s a real treat with traditional skills being demonstrated in town and country dwellings. Then zip over to the Ulster Transport Museum to check out one of Europe’s most comprehensive transport collections​​.

Exploris Aquarium & Castle Espie Wetland Centre: If you’re into marine life, the Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry is the place to be. It’s Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal rehabilitation center.

For bird enthusiasts, the Castle Espie Wetland Centre in Comber is a must-visit. It’s home to Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic waterbirds, bats, and migrant birds​​.

Outdoor Activities: Feeling adventurous? Get behind the wheel of a racing car or a go-kart, or even take to the skies in a plane, helicopter, or microlight.

If you’re more into tranquil vibes, explore the lough shores by paddleboard or canoe, or unwind with a yoga session​​.

Golf: Ards and North Down is a paradise for golfers. With a heritage dating back 125 years, there are 12 diverse golf courses within an hour’s drive from Belfast, including parkland and links courses.

And if you’re into history, you can tee off at Ireland’s oldest club, The Royal Belfast​​.

And here are some specific attractions within a reasonable distance from the Echlinville Distillery:

  • Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen (8.7 miles away): Ranked #1 of 17 Classes & Workshops in Belfast. Great for a unique culinary experience​​.
  • Winterfell Tours (9.7 miles away): Perfect for fans of the TV show, located in Downpatrick​​.
  • Mount Stewart (7.9 miles away): A beautiful historic house and garden in Newtownards​​.
  • Nendrum Monastic Site (8.4 miles away): A historic site in Comber, ideal for history buffs​​.
  • Grey Abbey (5.7 miles away): An ancient abbey in Portaferry, perfect for a quiet stroll​​.
  • Ballycopeland Windmill (9.7 miles away): A unique attraction in Newtownards​​.
  • Ballywalter Beach (4 miles away): A serene beach for a relaxing day out​​.
  • Kirkistown Castle Golf Club (3.7 miles away): A great spot for golf enthusiasts in Cloughey​​.
  • Kearney Historical Village (6.9 miles away): A quaint village in Portaferry for a step back in time​​.
  • Silverbay Caravan Park (5.2 miles away): For a leisurely day in Portaferry​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Echlinville Distillery?

  • Saltwater Brig: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +442842738435. Their address is 43 Rowreagh Rd, Kircubbin, Newtownards BT22 1AR, United Kingdom.
  • The New Quays: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +442842772225. Their address is 81 New Harbour Rd, Portavogie, Newtownards BT22 1EB, United Kingdom.
  • Yer coddin me: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +442842738297. Their address is Main St, Kircubbin, Newtownards BT22 2SR, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near Echlinville Distillery?

  • Bella’s Bistro & Rooms: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +442842738192. Their address is 60 Main St, Kircubbin, Newtownards BT22 2SP, United Kingdom.
  • Manse on the Beach: It has a rating of 5.0 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +447407062317. Their address is 25 Manse Rd, Cloughey, Newtownards BT22 1HS, United Kingdom.
  • The Cuan: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +442844881222. Their address is 6-12 The Square, Strangford, Downpatrick BT30 7ND, United Kingdom.