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Waterford Whisky Launches World’s First Biodynamic Whiskey

Waterford Whisky has broken barriers by recently launching what it describes as the world’s first biodynamic whiskey – Biodynamic: Luna.

Matured in a combination of 35% first-fill US oak; 17% virgin US oak; 26% Premium French oak; and 22% Vin Doux Naturel oak, the Irish whiskey bottling is what is said to be the world’s first whiskey created from biodynamic barley and is the latest whiskey in the distillery’s Arcadian Series, which showcases the flavors produced by forgotten ways of farming and rare barley varieties.

For the Demeter-certified bottling Irish growers Trevor Harris, John McDonnell and Alan Mooney began applying unusual agricultural practices to growing barley, running their farms according to esoteric principles derived from a 1924 series of lectures by the Austrian polymath Rudolf Steiner. Steiner created a codified agricultural system for post-WW1 farmers, who were worried about the industrialization of agriculture.

Waterford Biodynamic: Luna
Waterford Biodynamic: Luna (image via Waterford)

With the purpose of producing vibrant, chemical-free living soil, the approach includes an array of seemingly controversial practices such as burying manure-packed cow horns to ‘ferment’ underground; the creation of simple plant treatments and natural compost fertilizers to stimulate microbial activity; all following the natural rhythms of the lunar calendar, according to the brand.

“During the 1980s in the vineyards of Burgundy and Alsace, following decades of agro-chemical excess and the race for yield over quality, I witnessed the renaissance of terroir and modern winemaking. Out of this, biodynamics blossomed – a new philosophy that at first seemed outlandish, but after tasting the results increasingly proved its worth,” Waterford Distillery CEO Mark Reyneir said in a prepared statement.

“Biodynamics is, after all, merely a self-contained farming system, but one that consists of the culmination of 16,000 years of agricultural optimisation – trial and error, life and death – before the vicissitudes of industrialization and intensification dumbed down individuality. During my career I’ve had the fortune to taste the world’s greatest wines, it’s no surprise to see the ever-increasing adoption of biodynamics in the search for intensity and purity of flavor. If for the grape, why not the grain?”

21,000 bottles of Biodynamic: Luna are available worldwide, with a retail price of approximately €85-95/$125/£89.95, depending on location. Official tasting notes can be found below.

apricot jam, lemon drizzle cake, milk chocolate with almonds, earthiness, bread pudding, brown sugar, tea, with intense spices, dark chocolate, a vibrant maltiness and extreme flavor persistence.

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