My most recent food and drink adventure was Echlinville distillery, nestled just off the shores of Strangford lough. Only forty five minutes from Belfast, you too could be swillin’ a wee dram between your fingers and thumb! Fortified with the knowledge as to how it got in your glass by taking the Echlinville distillery tour . You will learn how Dunville’s Whiskey and Jawbox Gin are made and also their Ban Poitín, all available to sample at the bar after the tour. I cried off from any Poitín tasting but maybe next time!
The drive to the distillery itself is beautiful. You will pass Mount Stewart and go through beautiful quaint Greyabbey then continue along the shoreline and to Kircubbin where you will find the Echlinville estate and still house. Go to https://echlinville.com/story/ to read all about their story and the history of the estate.
The staff at Echlinville are amazing, super friendly and leave you feeling like you just visited an old friend for a few drinks and a catchup. The tour was light, funny and informative with just enough detail about the process of making whisky without giving away all their secrets. For that they’d have to kill you, most likely with the WWII tank they have parked up outside (not kidding).
We were shown the old courtyard with which they have big plans for in the future, the still house where all the magic happens and the maturation warehouse where the casks are kept. It’s here the whiskey matures and develops it’s depth and charatcer drawn from the distinctive properties of the barrel it’s stored in. All the terms you hear like ‘barrel aged’ and ‘single malt’ will start to make sense plus you’ll learn a whole host more!
After the tour we kicked back and enjoyed our drinks vouchers with which you get to try two drinks from the selection on offer. I sampled the Dunville’s Three Crowns Whiskey, Jawbox Rhubarb and Ginger gin and Echlinville Irish pot still gin. You are made to feel so welcome it’s honestly hard to leave but I am a complete lightweight when it comes to booze so three was enough or I would have been staying the night!
Great tour, friendly staff and you leave wanting more. I’ll return to Echlinville with friends and family on tow as this is a fabulous way to spend the afternoon for both visitors and locals alike.