Whisky Focus - Waterford Organic Gala 1.1

Waterford Organic Gala 1.1

14th October 2020
Waterford Distillery, the barley-forward, terroir-driven Irish distiller, has released Ireland’s very first organic whisky in the modern age.

Waterford Organic Gala 1.1Waterford Distillery has released Ireland’s first ever organic whisky in the modern age, distilled in 2016 from organic Irish barley grown by a small, dedicated band of organic farmers the single malt whisky is certified by the Organic Trust.

The new Waterford Organic Gala 1.1 has been matured in a combination of casks fresh, super-premium (Waterford's words) oak: 42% first-fill US oak, 17% virgin US oak, 23% premium French oak and 18% Vin Doux Naturel – sweet fortified wine casks. The organic Irish single malt has been bottled at 50% ABV without colouring, chill-filtration or any additives whatsoever – totally natural.

It forms part of Waterford’s Arcadian Series, which celebrates radical growers and alternative philosophies, including heritage grains and unusual growing methods.

Waterford Distillery Founder and CEO Mark Reynier says: "It beggars belief that much of the industry treats with indifference the primary source of single malt whisky’s extraordinary flavour: barley. We have placed barley – where and how it is grown – at the heart of what we do, curious about where the real whisky flavour may be found.

"A natural progression of this philosophy is to see what not only single farm origins can accomplish but what organically grown barley can do when it is given the right platform. Compliance for organic status is not straight forward by any means – there’ s a shed load of hoops to jump through, deep cleaning regimens, audits and assessments to undergo. So, is it worth it? We certainly think so, what we lose in yield and hair pulling we gain in purity and definition of flavour.

"We’re not playing at it; we lay down 400 to 600 casks of organic spirit a year, we buy all the Irish grown organic malting barley that can get our hands on. Waterford Organic will be a main player in our ongoing portfolio for the discerning whisky drinker.”

I would love to tell you what to expect in the bottle but Waterford has not mentioned this in the the info they have sent me but if you want to find out for yourself the new young Waterford Organic Gala 1.1 Irish single malt is a release of 24,000 bottles worldwide so plenty to go around, 18,000 will be released throughout Europe and Asia, with a further 6,000 bottles in the USA, you will have to dig deep in your pockets for the young whisky, it will be priced at approximately €80-86/£80 / US $110 and you should find it available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

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