The Spirit of Belfast is now available in Ontario in a new deal with the LCBO, the Liquor Control Board of Ontariofollowing Echlinville’s two successful trade missions to Canada with Invest Northern Ireland and the Irish Whiskey Association. The LCBO is among the world’s largest buyers and retailers of beverage alcohol with almost 900 LCBO stores and LCBO Convenience Outlets across the province of Ontario.
This is the latest in a series of export accounts for the independent family-run distillery, which ships its award-winning whiskeys, gins and poitín to international markets across Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.
Dunville is introducing three of its award winning whiskeys to the Canadian market: Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old Single Malt, which was named Best Irish Single Malt 12 Years and Under at the World Whiskies Awards 2019 and the Irish Whiskey Awards 2018 and 2019 and recently won Gold at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards. LCBO is also stocking Dunville’s Three Crowns Blended Whiskey, which won Bronze at the World Whiskies Awards 2020, and Dunville’s Three Crowns Peated Irish Whiskey, which was named Best Irish Blended Whiskey at the World Whiskies Awards 2019.
Jarlath Watson from Echlinville said: “We are delighted to bring the Spirit of Belfast to the ever-increasing number of Irish whiskey enthusiasts in the province of Ontario. When we revived the iconic Dunville’s Irish Whiskey brand in 2012, we did so with the view to restoring it to its rightful place among the premier whiskeys of the world. With an ever-increasing international following, we are well on our way to achieving that goal.
“Irish whiskey is the world’s fastest growing spirits category and Canada is one of the leading markets for that growth, with the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis reporting an 83% increase in volume export sales to the Canadian market between 2014 and 2018. That growth is expected to increase by a further 77 percent with exports to Canada projected to reach 491,000 nine-litre cases annually by 2023. Much of that growth is expected to be among premium whiskeys such as Dunville’s.
“Our single malt and vintage blend whiskeys have gathered 21 major international awards and are synonymous with exceptional quality, exquisite taste and rich heritage. As the global demand for premium and ultra-premium Irish whiskey continues to grow, this is a strong foundation upon which we continue to build our global export business.
“This new business with LCBO comes as we have also sent another major shipment to the US, which means that Dunville’s Irish Whiskey will have an increasing presence right across the lucrative North American market in the coming months.
“As the global demand for Irish whiskey continues to grow, so too does our Dunville’s portfolio. Our most recent addition to the range – a Cask Strength bottling of our iconic Dunville’s PX 12 Year Old Single Malt – sold out within a few hours its release. We are working on further releases in the Dunville’s Single Cask Series, a series of single cask whiskeys that will showcase the very best whiskeys in the Dunville’s warehouse and give our customers what they want – exceptional Irish whiskey, uncompromised and bottled at its optimum strength for the best possible quality and flavour.
“2020 promises to be another great year for The Spirit of Belfast and we would like to thank Invest NI – particularly its Canadian office – the Irish Whiskey Association, our Ontario based agent Cork Wines and Whiskeys and all our customers for their continued support.”
John Hood, Director of Food & Drink at Invest NI, said: “The Irish whiskey market has seen remarkable growth over the last 10 years with Irish whiskey now one of the fastest growing premium spirit categories in the world. Our support for Echlinville included an introduction by our office in Canada with the LCBO during an Invest NI trade mission to Canada which helped the company to secure this deal. This success is testament to the quality Irish whiskey which Echlinville Distillery produces here, with only a handful of brands getting past LCBO’s long and rigorous selection process.”
William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, said:“Irish whiskey sales are booming in Canada and it is great to see new brands such as Dunville’s launching across Canada. The Irish Whiskey Association has worked closely with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Invest NI to secure access for more Irish whiskey brands to the large Ontario market and it is great to see this now bearing fruit for The Echlinville Distillery.”
Jason Nykor Owner of Cork Wines and Whiskeys Ltd., who represent quality Irish spirits for the Canadian market, said:“Cork Wines and Whiskeys Ltd. is proud to represent an icon such as Dunville’s Irish Whiskey in Ontario. It is with great pleasure that we are able to bring this whiskey all the way from Northern Ireland to LCBO stores across the province. The LCBO has seen a huge increase in demand for Irish Whiskey and brands like Dunville’s will only enhance the category. We look forward to lifting a dram of Dunville’s Irish whiskey soon.”