Waterford unveils first commercial Irish whiskeysBy Melita Kiely
Mark Reynier’s Waterford Distillery has revealed its first commercial Irish whiskey series – Single Farm Origin.
The Single Farm Origin Series initially comprises three whiskeys made using 100% Irish barley – Bannow Island: Edition 1.1, Ballykilcavan: Edition 1.1, and Ratheadon: Edition 1.1.
Waterford’s production process uses a mash filter instead of a mash tun, a minimum fermentation time of 120 hours and “exceptionally slow” distillations.
Bannow Island: Edition 1.1 was distilled from barley grown by Ed Harpur on the southern coast of County Wexford. The “salt-laden” Atlantic winds and sandy soils are said to create a “unique, if challenging” terroir.
Ballykilcavan: Edition 1.1. was distilled from barley grown by David Walsh-Kemmis west of the Barrows in County Laois.
Both whiskeys have been bottled at 50% ABV without caramel colouring or chill filtration. They will retail for RRP £70 (US$85) and will be available from specialist UK retailers from 22 June. A total of 1,500 bottles of each whiskey have been created for the UK market. In total, Waterford has bottled around 8,000 bottles of each whiskey for markets worldwide.
Ratheadon: Edition 1.1 will follow, available exclusively online or from the distillery. There will be around 2,000 bottles available.
The Single Farm Origin range will be distributed in the UK by Speciality Brands.
Reynier, founder and CEO of Waterford Distillery, said: “I’ve spent a lifetime in the top end of [the] drinks industry – half in fine wine, half in single malt – and Waterford is the culmination of this rather unusual journey. It’s rare one has the chance to breathe life into such a provocative concept, one of such precision, challenge and originality.
“For years folk have been hoodwinked on where whisky’s quality truly lies – once stills, then water, now wood. We want to shine the light on what really makes malt whisky the most complex spirit in the world, the primary source of all that extraordinary flavour: barley.
“I can safely say no stone has been left unturned. No challenge unmet. Thanks to unparalleled logistics, great teamwork, and single-minded focus we can now share our inspiration, this vision, that will one day rebalance the way we look at and enjoy this fine spirit. And this is just the beginning.”
Further releases from the Single Farm Origin series will be available in October 2020.