Waterford Distillery 'The Cuvée' Irish Single Malt Whisky

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Waterford Distillery 'The Cuvée' Irish Single Malt Whisky

About Waterford Distillery:

While Ireland might boast 100+ whisky brands, in reality the juice in most of these bottles comes from one of three distilleries on the island. So while the category of Irish Whisky might seem diverse, it's a bit of smoke and mirrors and good marketing. Enter Mark Reynier, the man who revived Islay's Bruichladdich distillery in the early 2000s and the maverick behind Waterford Distillery.

"I’m out to make the most distinctive single malt the world has ever seen and it is the cognoscenti who will be the buyers of it. What we are doing is an intellectual proposition. It is for the curious, not the followers," Mark said in an early 2020 interview.

Housed in a former Guinness Brewery, Waterford Distillery is squarely focused on the influence of terroir on whisky, sourcing barley from single farms and distilling them in single batches, as one would produce wine from a single grand cru vineyard in Burgundy. Waterford is also the first distillery to produce a whisky from certified organic barley, which they have named 'Gaia'.

The traceability, or provenance, of these whiskies is insane, truly unlike any other on the market. Age-statements shown in the number of days. Barrel regiment is broken down by type of barrel and percentage of the final blend. The single-origin bottlings are named after the farms where the barley is sourced, and also mention the name of the farmer and geographic coordinates of the farm. There is a fanatical level of detail put into these spirits, and it certainly shows in the glass.

‘The Cuvée’ is a blend of 25 unique Waterford Single Farm Origin whiskies, inspired by the winemaking traditions of Bordeaux’s famed chateaux. Each of the 25 Single Farm Origin whiskies is an individual Waterford Single Malt in its own right, reflective of the distinct terroirs of southern Ireland, made from Irish-grown barley which is harvested, malted, and distilled separately. Just as the finest Bordeaux wines are made by blending several complete individual wines together, here too the whole equals more than the sum of its parts, in keeping with Waterford’s stated goal to “create the most complex and profound single malt possible.” Head Distiller Ned Gahan deftly blended together 25 individually-distilled Single Farm Origins, aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels. ‘The Cuvée’ unfurls layer upon layer of warm shortbread, red apples, oranges, coffee cake, and fresh leafy and stemmy herbs including lavender and mint. A textured, oily palate unveils flourishes of citrus zest, dark chocolate, preserved cherry, and baked oats, on a finish of extraordinary length and complexity. This totally natural whisky is bottled at 50% ABV with no chill-filtration or added coloring.