Fall chill is in the air and some new Irish whiskies available in the USA will help to warm the senses with the use of Peat. Waterford distillery has released two new single malts using Irish grown peat while Sliabh Liag debuted the final single malt in their Legendary Silkie collection. This adds to the list of growing peated Irish whiskey brands including Kilbeggan (Connemara), Teeling (BlackPitts), Two Stacks (Dram in a Can), and many other sourced expressions from Great Northern Distillery. Several new distilleries are currently aging their own peated Irish whiskey which should be available soon. For now, we can enjoy the newest releases
Sliabh Liag’s Midnight Silkie Whiskey, Its Smokiest Yet, Debuts In U.S.
Waterford Distillery Releases Irish Peated Whiskies
Waterford Distillery, terroir-driven Irish whisky producer, has bottled the first modern Irish Peated whiskies in generations – Peated: Fenniscourt and Peated: Ballybannon, from barley grown on two distinct Single Farm Origins. The whiskies are two new bottlings in Waterford Distillery’s Arcadian Farm Origins, which explore the old ways of farming and whisky in search of real rarity and intense flavors.
The new single malt whiskies use both Irish peat and Irish-grown barley – the first distillery in generations to do so – as part of Waterford’s quest to unearth whisky’s most natural flavors and commitment to Irish-only ingredients.
Both bottlings are the latest addition to Waterford’s Arcadian Farm Origins, which represent real rarity in whisky due to the scarcity of the raw materials. This range – which include Ireland’s only Organic whisky known as Organic Gaia and the world’s first Biodynamic whisky known as Biodynamic Luna that reimagines the old ways of production in the pursuit of flavor intensity over yield imperatives.
The arrival of the new Irish peat bottlings, spearheaded by CEO Mark Reynier, has been in development since 2017, though kept a secret until this year. The approach included selecting two Single Farm Origin barleys – from distinctive terroirs – to see if the flavor profiles could stand up to the smokiness of peat.
In true Waterford Whisky style, the approach needed a radical approach to ensure its Irish provenance. Irish peat has been redundant in whisky production since the turn of the 20th century, which meant all knowledge of how to use Irish peat had passed out of memory. Therefore the project involved ambitious collaborators, as well as trial and error in sourcing the appropriate peat sources with the moisture levels appropriate for whisky production.
Waterford Distillery sourced small amounts of peat cut from Country Kildare, and worked alongside their established malting partner, Minch Malt. Because there was no infrastructure in Ireland capable of peating barley, Waterford Distillery needed to ship small amounts of Irish peat and Irish barley to Scotland, iconic home to peated malt whisky, for the kilning process to take place – before being shipped back to Waterford for distillation.
Providing drinkers with full product transparency and traceability is Waterford Whisky’s trademark. Through TEIREOIR CODE technology, available on each and every bottle, drinkers can follow how the barley was harvested, stored, malted, and distilled – guaranteeing the integrity of each Single Farm Origin.
Neil Conway, Head Brewer of Waterford Distillery – explains: “Peat was a core part of Ireland’s heritage, whether that be commercially, for heating homes in rural countryside, or for the production of whisky. It was the ancient fuel source. At Waterford Distillery, since we place barley – the source of whisky’s natural flavor – at the center of our universe, we are gathering the widest array of pure and natural flavor components. It felt only natural to nod to our cultural heritage, preserve old ways, and explore the peating process with modern varieties.”
“Malt whisky is already one of the most complex spirits in the world, because it is made from barley – the best in the world coming from Ireland, adds Neil. So combining this with ancient peated methods that are no longer widely available in Ireland, added intriguing new layers of flavor complexity. Cultivating Irish peat and learning how the impact of moisture levels can determine the whiskies smokiness is just another step to unearth whisky’s most natural flavors. Of course it made little financial sense, but we did it for taste – and taste alone. Once we’d tried it, it was just too good to ignore and we thought that people really need to try this.”
Waterford’s Peated: Ballybannon and Peated: Fenniscourt are each 50% ABV, with 11,500 bottles of each being released globally. These whiskies are available in 700ml bottles for $99.99 in select retail stores starting in October within the U.S. Waterford Whisky is imported by Glass Revolution Imports.
“We are thrilled to be adding these two new Waterford expressions,” said Raj Sabharwal, Founding Partner at Glass Revolution Imports. “Given the rarity of these two Single Malt Whiskies, they will be allocated to the following markets – New York, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Texas, California, and Washington.”
Tasting Notes by Ned Gahan, Head Distiller at Waterford Distillery
While the Peated: Ballybannon has a stronger, smokier flavor and with an intense finish, the Peated Fenniscourt is a more subtle smokiness, with a softer finish.
PEATED: BALLYBANNON: Matured in a combination of 39% first-fill U.S. oak; 21% virgin U.S. oak; 21% Premium French oak; and 19% Vin Doux Naturel casks.
*Color: light gold with everlasting oils.
*Nose: soft peat, almonds, lavender honey, a seaside escape, driftwood fire smoke, green apples.
*Taste: peat kick, very chewable, BBQ fish by the sea, buttery, samphire, warm apple and almond tart with honeycomb ice cream, endless finish.
*Peating: 47 ppm
PEATED: FENNISCOURT: Matured in a combination of 37% first-fill U.S. oak; 19% virgin U.S. oak; 20% Premium French oak; and 24% Vin Doux Naturel.
*Color: rich buttermilk with fabulous oils.
*Nose: turf! Saltiness, pear skin, woodland moss, dried thyme, malted biscuits, marzipan,
*Taste: dry rope, barbecue, bog myrtle, white pepper, meaty; soft, earthy warmth, a dry finish in gentle waves.
*Peating: 38 ppm
About Waterford Whisky: Waterford Whisky is on a quest to unearth whisky’s most natural flavors. Unashamedly influenced by the world’s greatest winemakers, Waterford brings the same intellectual drive, methodology and rigor to unearth the nuances that make Waterford Whisky the most profound single malt ever created. Across southern Ireland, warmed by the Gulf Stream, temperate, moist air crosses fertile soils to produce a verdant landscape and the world’s finest barley. Since barley is the source of malt whisky’s complex flavors, it makes abundant sense to focus on where and how the barley is cultivated. Those flavors are shaped by place, by the soils that nourish its roots, by the microclimate in which it ripens. By terroir. Waterford is a whisky of the world, born of Irish barley.
This article courtesy of BevNet here