Whisky Focus - Waterford Single Farm Origin

Waterford Single Farm Origin


20th May 2020
Waterford Distillery today unveiled its first commercial whisky release since it went into production in January 2016, the Waterford Single Farm Origin Ballykilcavan, Bannow Island and Ratheadon Edition 1.1

Waterford Single Farm Origin Ballykilcavan, Bannow Island and Ratheadon Edition 1.1

Waterford Distillery today unveiled its first commercial whisky release since it went into production in January 2016, the Waterford Single Farm Origin Series, the new terroir-driven Irish whisky launches with a trio of Irish single malt whiskies, the first two of which will be available here in the UK and Ireland from late June 2020 and the third will be available from the distillery online shop and from the distillery itself. Different Single Farm Origin bottlings, will be released to the US and other overseas markets later in the year.

Mark Reynier who I am sure many of you recall as the man who brought the abandoned Bruichladdich distillery on Islay back to life at the end of 2000, then sell the distillery on to Remy Cointreau for a staggering £58m, is the man behind Waterford which was formerly a Guinness brewery.

Using 100% Irish barley, the new Waterford Single Farm Origin series is described by the distillery as "an uber-provenance range of limited edition natural whiskies that explore Irish terroir one farm, once place, at a time. They are expressions of precision and rarity, showcasing barley flavours derived from individual Irish farms and harvests".

Each of the Waterford Single Farm Origin editions has been produced using barley originating from unique corners of Ireland and all are bottled at 50% ABV without colouring or chill-filtration.

Waterford Single Farm Origin Ratheadon: Edition 1.1 will be exclusively available from the distillery online shop and from the distillery itself.

Waterford Single Farm Origin Bannow Island: Edition 1.1 was distilled from barley grown by Ed Harpur on the extreme southern coast of Co. Wexford, where salt-laden Atlantic winds and sandy soils create a unique, if challenging, terroir.

Waterford Single Farm Origin Ballykilcavan: Edition 1.1 was distilled from barley grown by David Walsh-Kemmis west of the Barrow in Co. Laois in the barley heartlands, where his fertile fields are sheltered by ancient woodland.

The distillery's use of 100% Irish grown barley, a mash filter instead of a mash tun, a minimum 120 hour fermentations and a slow distillation process is great to see and it should certainly be interesting to try the final product to compare what influence each barley has on the final whisky.

Waterford tells me that every bottle will feature its own TÉIREOIR code, which once entered on the website from the end of June will reveal a host of unprecedented and engaging content related to the release.

Using rich photography, and drawing upon the distillery's unrivalled digital logistics systems, drinkers will be able to explore the place, the harvest, the grower, distillation details as well as view the full spectrum of wood.

Strangely though, it seems that going by the info Waterford has sent me about the their Single Farm Origin that you will have to buy a bottle of the whisky to find out any real info on it via their website, as they haven't mentioned what type of barley they actually used and whether it was the same type of barley for each whisky. All whisky drinkers know the type of cask a whisky matures in can have a huge influence on the final whisky, especially a very young whisky such as this, but Waterford doesn't mention what type of cask the new whiskies have matured in, again it appears that you will have to buy a bottle of the whisky to find out. To top it all, and perhaps indicate that this is aimed at collectors given the lack of info and price tag of £70 there isn't even the slightest hint of what the whisky will taste like but if I do find out what the new young Irish single malt whisky will taste like and what you should expect to find in the bottle for £70 I will let you know. Hopefully this is just a poor communication problem due to the fact that they are announcing the new whisky launch during the current Covid-19 lockdown.

If I find out what type of wood the new whiskies has matured in and any further info on the type of barley which they are highlighting and most importantly if I get any info on what the whisky will actually taste like I will let you know. One other notable point is that they have chosen to spell WHISKY without the letter 'E' just as it used to be in Ireland.

Waterford Single Farm Origin Ratheadon: Edition 1.1 will be exclusively available direct from the distillery. Waterford Single Farm Origin Bannow Island and Ballykilcavan has a RRP of between €70-79/£70 (depending on location) and will be available from the end of June 2020 from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt
 

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