Ireland’s Waterford Finds Quick Whiskey Success So Adds More Releases

Waterford Distillery, located in Ireland, has at its helm one Mark Reynier. Reynier, who helped resurrect the mothballed Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland at the end of 2000, has been busy at Waterford since 2014, trying to make success out of the idea of terroir in Irish whiskey in a way that showcases barley grown from one farm at a time. He’s already seen gold in this regard, with initial releases from a few months back quickly selling out.

Waterford and Reynier are now back, bringing forward four new “Single Farm Origin” whiskies, two of which are slightly older versions of the first bottlings. The premise behind these whiskeys is that the distillery is, according to them, “inspired by the world’s greatest winemakers” and that it “obsessively brings the same intellectual drive, methodology & rigour to single malt whisky.

The latest Single Farm Origin Irish whiskeys from Waterford (image via Waterford)

“For the first time the focus is on barley, the origin of whisky’s complex flavours. Irish barley is widely considered to be the world’s finest.”

To this end, the new releases are as follows:

  • Ballymorgan: Edition 1.1 – grown by Robert Milne on one of Ireland’s premier malting barley terroirs – the famous Clonroche Series in Co. Wexford, with its loamy, clay soils derived from slate and granite.
  • Sheestown: Edition 1.1 – grown just outside the historic town of Kilkenny on an undulating, well-drained, lowland terroir predominantly derived from limestone, by Phil O’Brien, father of one of our distillery workers.
  • Bannow Island: Edition 1.2 – the second release, now 3 months older, was 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.
  • Ballykilcavan: Edition 1.2 – the second release, now 3 months older, uses 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.
Read More Whiskey News
Whiskey Reviews: The Legendary Silkie and The Legendary Dark Silkie

“We knew there was great interest from the inquisitive, curious and open-minded in our unique philosophy but we were totally unprepared – and mighty humbled – by such an enthusiastic reception,” said Reynier in a prepared statement. “We know this has meant some frustration for people getting their hands on a pair, but please bear with us. Our distributors say this is the most successful launch of a new distillery brand they have ever seen, and we have all been taken off guard.

“Everyone associated with Waterford Whisky from farmers to maltsters to distillers to warehousemen should be very proud. Sure, it’s early days, but our novel, traceable, transparent, terroir approach seems to have found a niche appreciated by today’s enlightened consumers.”

As it stands now plans call for all of these whiskeys to be bottled at 50% ABV without coloring, chill-filtration or any additives. All will price at €70-80/£70 (around $90 USD) and be available starting this month. 9,000 bottles of each whiskey will be available throughout Europe, Taiwan and Japan, with totally unique Single Farm Origins coming to the US in September.

Also, as a unique storytelling feature, a special code on each bottle, known as the TÉIREOIR Code, will allow online information access to each whiskey’s “provenance.” This includes “barrel breakdown, barley agronomy, farm origin maps, distillation data, farm photography and field audio.”