Top award for local gin producer

Top award for local gin producer

A LOCAL distillery has secured one of the world’s most sought after food and drink awards.

The Echlinville Distillery — based near Kircubbin — was one of only eight businesses in Northern Ireland to secure a coveted three star rating at the recent Great Taste Awards for its highly acclaimed Echlinville
Single Estate Irish Pot Still Gin.

Echlinville Gin is the only Irish gin and one of only eight spirits in total to achieve Great Taste’s top rating, with the prestigious three star award securing the locally produced gin’s place among the best in the world.

The judging panel described Echlinville Gin as ‘exceptional, quite stunning and truly outstanding’ saying “in a world filling up with gins, this one stands out.”

Distillery founder and owner, Shane Braniff, said the company is “incredibly proud” that Echlinville Gin has been listed among the top-rated products at Great Taste 2017. 

“The Great Taste label is a badge of honour and a signpost to an exquisite tasting product,” he said. “Echlinville Gin is made with a unique barley neutral base spirit distilled from barley grown and floor malted on the distillery farm. To distil your own neutral spirit is something of a rarity in the gin business and sets Echlinville Gin apart from its competitors. Few distilleries in the world can offer a gin of such provenance.”

Shane explained that from field to glass, every stage of Echlinville Gin’s journey has been perfected at the distillery and everyone is delighted it has been recognised with this seal of approval from Great Taste and The Guild of Fine Food.

He continued: “The heart of gin may be juniper, but the soul of any spirit comes from its connection to the place where it is made. We are very proud of our roots in the Ards Peninsula and that sense of place is the essence of our gin. Our homegrown Echlinville barley, Strangford Lough sweet kelp, indigenous whin bush petals and an array of hand-picked botanicals combine to give our gin a true connection to the land and the sea.

“The malted barley neutral spirit gives a balanced complexity, malt character and creamy mouthfeel that was noted by the Great Taste judges. It is as comfortable sipped neat as it is in the company of elderflower tonic, lemon and mint, its recommended serve.”

Believed to be Ireland’s only ‘field to glass’ distillery, all Echlinville’s new-make spirit is distilled from barley grown, harvest and floor malted on the distillery’s own farmland.

“Echlinville was Northern Ireland’s first newly licensed distillery in over 125 years and we have established ourselves at the forefront of Ireland’s spirits renaissance,” said Shane. “Primarily a whiskey distillery, we began distilling in 2013 and laid down our first casks of single malt and pot still whiskeys which came of age last year.

“All our new-make spirit is distilled from barley grown and malted on our own land. From reviving the tradition of distillery floor malting to perfecting the art of trickle
pot distillation, we have departed from modern distillery ‘norms’
in the quest to produce spirits
with the finest possible taste and character.”

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Shane added: “Our commitment to quality is at the heart of everything we do, and we are delighted that has been recognised by Great Taste.”