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Waterford Cuvée Fumo




Whiskey Review: Waterford Cuvée Fumo

Tasting Notes:

Irish single malt made using barley from four Irish farms influenced by Irish peat. Bottled at 50% ABV and peated at 55 ppm, it is priced at $99.99.
This whiskey has a nice, light gold amber in the glass, offering moderate legs and decent viscosity.
For a peated whiskey, it is very subtle on the nose. It comes alongside rich aromatics of shitake mushroom, toasted marshmallow, burnt caramel, figgy pudding, and a hint of vanilla.
The peat is more present on the palate but not in a punch-you-in-the-face Islay way. There are also notes of dark chocolate, strawberries, toasted oak, maraschino cherries, vanilla, and a super slight spice nod in the back end.
This is a bit smoky and sweet on the finish, holding in a subtle but noticeable way for a time before fading off.
What to make of this one? Honestly, it’s my least favorite of the three Waterford Cuvée Concepts. I like the subtlety of the peat, but I feel it gets lost in the accompanying sweet notes during the tasting. The rest is fine, but I wouldn’t rush out to get a bottle of this one over the others.
Waterford Cuvée Fumo review
We review Waterford Cuvée Fumo, made using barley from four Irish farms that’s been influenced by Irish peat. (image via Waterford Whisky)

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. Per our editorial policies, this in no way influenced the outcome of this review. 

The Irish whiskey scene, like the American, is defined in part by a mix of traditional larger brands and a newer crop of craft-style outlets. One of these younger distilleries, Waterford Whisky, was founded by Scotch industry veteran Mark Reyneir, formerly of the forward-thinking Bruichladdich distillery. Exploration of terroir was a big concept at Bruichladdich, and it is something Reyneir brought with him to Waterford.

The Waterford focus on terroir takes it down to the granular, producing whiskeys exploring the barley of individual farms that partner with the whiskey maker to provide grains. As an expansion of this, the brand recently introduced a “cuvee” concept, which marries together matured whiskeys from these single-origin expressions into a “the whole – greater than simply the sum of its parts” idea.

“The natural progression of our unique terroir mission was to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Grand Vins of Bordeaux or the Grande Marques of Champagne, and that is to create our flagship cuvées,” said Reynier at the time of its release. “Our new creative Cuvée Concepts, where we layer together uniquely flavorsome Single Farm Origins, help us to great our most complex, expressive, and profound whiskies.”

Today’s Offering

Three Cuvée Concepts have been introduced to the United States to form the basis of this new core range. Each one is described as bringing “a new dynamic to the distillery’s trademark barley-forward profile.”

The one being reviewed here today is Waterford Cuvée Fumo. This particular release is made from four of Waterford’s “Peated Single Farm Origins,” each of which uses only Irish peat and only Irish barley for the first time in generations. Bottled at 50% ABV and peated at 55 ppm, the whiskey’s cask composition is 33% first fill U.S., 22% virgin U.S., 19% premium French and 26% vin doux naturel. It is priced at $99.99.

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