A delight of a Irish Whiskey made by the subtly mad crew at Waterford Whiskey
Notes: Probably the largest collection of Irish Whiskey expressions you have never heard of, and capturing the high ground of premium, single malt, single-origin, and certainly organic and biodynamic whiskies in the world! This is one of the many expressions that Waterford Distillery makes. I have to admire the absolutely obsessive, possibly pathologically OCD in a charming way, that this group goes about making whisky. Using biodynamic techniques with heirloom barley varieties they seem they seem to have obsessively thought out every other aspect of distillation, aging, cask wood aging, and every other possible point to produce a stunning whisky. One of the more interesting aspects is the careful selection of a variety of casks used in the aging process, a mix of virgin American Oak, French Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and Sherry cask, and the percentages used in the final blending. This particular expression from Waterford may take a little explanation for those not entirely familiar with geeky whisky terminology. Single Malt as it is usually understood to be, and the numerous examples of such that make it so (such as the numerous and famous Single malt Scotch whiskies such as Lagavulin, MacCallan, Balvenie, etc., etc.) are relatively simple blends of multiple barrels from a single distillery. Each barrel, due to numerous, sometimes inscrutable factors, is somewhat different from each other but is at least somewhat homogenous to a certain degree – in that they are pretty much the same type of barrel stock, usually from the same sources and other factors limiting the spread of differences to a manageable and reproducible range. This is so they can reliably produce a single malt that is technically a blend of barrels but tastes the same to a great degree. This is, of course, the industry standard, but it is usually ( try almost always) a very closely guarded secret as to the makeup of the blend. This is not the case with Waterford Distillery, which is easily the most transparent and informative distillery in the entire whiskey industry.
Why, may you ask, is this important?
It allows an unparalleled window into the craft of whiskey making and all the subtle variations and possibilities that lead to the ultimate synthesis of a whiskey. Every variable and decision, from the origin of the grain to the multitude of steps involved in the cultivation, milling preparation, fermentation, distillation, and aging of a whiskey, are detailed and give an unparalleled behind-the-scenes account of how a whiskey comes to be.
Appearance: Clear, pale yellow like a very light compressor oil or a Vieux Systeme all-malt Genever. Leaves a light film on swirling, an extremely thin and even coat with extremely fine legs and tears eventually forming.
First Impression: Dark ripe fruit, plums, pluots, or maybe a touch of figs and persimmons, spicy, fruity start, lemons, marzipan (or plastique), cocoa, molasses, slightly tannic with notes of Sobranie tobacco, oak, new leather slightly fatty, luscious. Almost a symphony movement worth of tastes and adjectives composed by a master of both instruments and composition.
Taste: Slightly oily entry, glides over and coats the tongue in a seductive immersion to a dazzling but subtle fruity, malty carousel of flavors with apricot, lemon, thyme, leather, char, and sweetness wrapped in the harmonious and continuous development of flavors.
Drinks: This is one of those few whiskies I hesitate to ever mix in order not to miss any nuance and to give it all the attention and respect it deserves. Pour it into a proper glass with perhaps just a touch of good warm water ( or not), and sit back and pay attention to it. It will express its story of an expressive and gentle madness in the quest of a singular spirit.
Bottle: Beautiful damn bottle! A deep cobalt blue, slight inset for the label with a series of ridges toward the bottom gives it a sort of machine age or maybe deco overtones. The labels are a combination of silk screening and paper labels with a teal silver speckled background and raised silver lettering. The back label is a single piece of plastic film with 9-point ( ?) lettering. The label contains a short narrative, the growers’ names, and the Teirreoir code, which links to an exhaustive and lovingly detailed genealogy of your bottle. The stopper is a yellow glass stopper with a tightly rigid nylon gasket that gives a great seal without being too much of a challenge to open. and a silkscreen design that I do not know what it means. Overall a very carefully thought out and executed repository for a remarkable spirit.
Other: Waterford Distillery has a plethora of other whisky expressions, and we look forward to reviewing them if/when we can get our hands on some. Teireoir Code Fo16E01-1
Final Thoughts: Easily one of the most subtle yet grand spirits we have tasted in the last year. Also, only the second spirit in almost 1,200 reviews to earn a 10 out of 10 Olives in the Overall Rating Score.
Easily one of the most comprehensive and attractive/pretty websites we have EVER seen in the trade. Puts ALL the others to shame in terms of graphics ( Did we say pretty? Maybe stunning is a better word)
A huge amount of information is laid out for you in a somehow easy-to-navigate layout. Can’t say enough how we love this site and how it is the best of thousands of websites we have seen in the trade. A singular delight to look over!
Every other web page designer should do the equivalent of what mathematicians do to honor a singular achievement by laying down their pens in front of the author ( see the movie ” A Beautiful Mind ” if you are not getting this). I could go on and on about how well laid out and delightfully presented each and every aspect is laid out. It is the Ne Plus Ultra of Spirit websites!