Ireland’s Waterford Distillery splashed on the whisky scene in 2020 with its terroir-focused Single Farm Origin releases, a slew of which have hit the shelves since we first looked in on them. Their Organic Gaia release shortly after was the distillery’s first blend of distilled barleys from various farms, although it was limited to only a handful of certified organic producers. Now, the distillery has unveiled what it calls the “definitive Waterford Whisky,” a flagship blend dubbed The Cuvée. Per the distillery:
We rigorously apply the ancient terroir methodology to today’s verdant landscape of Ireland, home of the world’s finest barley. Now for the first time in single malt whisky – unashamedly inspired by the legendary châteaux of France – we reach the apogee of this radical philosophy.
Our distillery, the technological marvel we call the Facilitator, enables us to create elite whisky – farm by farm, terroir by terroir. State-of-the-art equipment marries with ancient knowledge, locally grown Irish barley with extended fermentations, unhurried distillation & an array of exceptional oak. It has provided a unique library of Single Farm Origins – each expressing its own identity, its own voice.
This unprecedented spectrum of flavours must now reach its crescendo: we have celebrated & explored the singles; now we produce our more immersive concept album. For layered together in this cerebral fusion of flavours, these component Waterford Whiskies come together, culminating in our ultimate experience: textured, complex & compelling.
Can you tell they’re excited about this one? Let’s see if you should be, too.
Immediately, the aroma goes straight to soil. It’s not muddy or mineral heavy, but there’s a fresh, dry earth note that saturates the aroma at first. A bit of sweet, biscuity malt arrives as things open up and then quite a lot of orchard fruit, waxy and a little underripe. The palate is less earthy with rich, sweet malts at the outset followed by candy apple, a bit of citrus, ginger snaps, and juicy grapefruit. A light, peppery spice turns to clove chewing gum as the finish arrives with a generous warmth and lingering notes of tinned pears, cinnamon stick, and some dried red berries. From previous experience with a handful of Single Farm Origin releases, I can confidently say that Waterford has managed to create a whisky here that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Nicely done.
A- / $105 / waterfordwhisky.com