While most assume that terroir is a term meant only for wine, founder and CEO of Waterford Distillery Mark Reynier decided it is relevant to whisky-making as well. His hunch was certainly paid off as the whisky distillery has sold out their first Irish single malts quicker than anticipated — in just a few hours, retailers in Europe had sold several hundred bottles. Therefore, to meet the growing demand for their unique spirit, Waterford has brought forward the release of their two new Single Farm Origins bottlings.
Waterford Distillery aims to explore the Irish terroir one farm at a time. Its new Single Farm Origin whiskies have the added focus on the key ingredient of this sought-after amber liquid: barley. The Ballymorgan: Edition 1.1 is made with barley from Clonroche Series in Co. Wexford, grown by Robert Milne. Considered one of Ireland’s leading malting barley terroirs, its flavours are influenced by the clay soils.
The Sheestown: Edition 1.1’s crop is grown by one of the distillery worker’s father, Phil O’Brien, just outside Kilkenny, a town known for its history. The lowland terroir in the area is mostly made up of limestone.
To reprise the original two sold out bottlings, Waterford Distillery has also released two second edition iterations, both three months older. The Bannow Island: Edition 1.2 is flavoured by the salty Atlantic winds and sandy soils of the southern coast of Co. Wexford. On the other hand, Ballykilcavan: Edition 1.2 gets its earthy quality from fertile fields guarded by ancient woodland in Co. Laois.
Similar to prominent winemakers, Waterford Distillery uses thorough methods to ensure the creation of the finest whiskies, paying attention to specific terroirs. Not only do they grow barley on 19 different soil types, they source it from 72 Irish farms.
The spirit is also matured in a range of top quality American and French oak. Waterford shows pride in provenance by labelling each bottle with a unique Téireoir Code. This code gives you access to the whisky’s barrel breakdown, from farm origin maps and photography, to distillation data and more.
Waterford whiskies are bottled without colouring or chill filtration, at 50% ABV. Their new Single Farm Origins will be available for €70-80 (from RM340) by specialist retailers by the end of July 2020.