Imagine that you’re Mark Reynier…
Over the course of around 12 years, you purchased an abandoned distillery (Bruichladdich), brought it back to life, did all sorts of experimentation with cask finishing and barley strains, and then sold it (against your better judgment) to Remy Cointreau for a hefty sum of money. What would be YOUR next move?
Most people would retire, but not Mark Reynier. Rather than fun in the sun on the Costa Del Sol or the French Riviera, Mark decided to buy a Guinness Brewery from Diageo in Waterford, Ireland, add a distillery to the facility, and start making Single Malt Irish Whisky.
Here’s a bit more about Waterford Distillery, in Mark’s own words, that was taken directly from their website…
We’re embarking on a long journey, a voyage as ambitious as it’s pioneering. The destination is to create not just the most compelling Irish whisky, but the world’s most profound single malt.
We chose Waterford, for here on the banks of the river Suir, on Ireland’s sunny south-eastern coast, we have an exceptional state-of-the-art facility originally built by Diageo in 2004 and converted to distilling in 2015. And we have the finest quality raw materials: the purest of spring water from renowned ancient wells; a team of passionate distillers that share the vision; and the very best barley in the world.
The provenance of our barley, where and how it is cultivated, is therefore key. Taking proven principles from Islay a giant step further, we have sourced an unprecedented 86 Irish farms, including organic and biodynamically run, growing barley on 19 distinct soil types. With a pioneering digital logistical system keeping track, each farmer’s crop is harvested, stored, malted and distilled separately. Thus we can capture in spirit each farm’s terroir, that subtle character shaped by micro-climate and soil. Individuality and integrity from field to barrel.
The goal of this precision, provenance with total traceability, is to provide us with an unparalleled library of maturing, nascent single malt whisky as each farm’s barley is distilled, one per week throughout the year.
The first whisky ran in January 2016. After maturing for several years in the best of French and American oak, we believe these component “single”, single malts, each one exhibiting its own nuances, will come together making the most profound single malt whisky ever created.
We know a little bit about what goes into making whisky, but even though we’re far from experts, that all sounds mighty impressive. And complicated. At the end of the day, all we care about is what the stuff in our glass tastes like and if it’s any good.
On today’s episode of A Tasting at The Murder Table, we sample four Waterford expressions to see what all the fuss is about. Click the play button on the following video to see and hear our thoughts:
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