After a very busy start in 2020 with quite a lot of new releases, the first months of 2021 became a bit quieter around Waterford Distillery (at least as far as new releases are concerned). But now they are back with two new Single Farm Origin bottlings that have now been released worldwide – this Lakefield 1.1. one of them – and there will be a handful of country exclusives, which are on the way, but I’ll get to that another time.

When I wrote my review of the first batch of Waterford releases in July last year, the distillery was already working with 72 different farms. However, this number has now risen to a staggering 97 farms, all spread across Ireland. Logistically not the most obvious choice, but as we all know by now Waterford is on a mission and it all has to do with terroir … I won’t go into that this time because this has already been discussed on several other websites. But if you want to read more about it, I can recommend this great article written by Thijs from Words of Whisky.

Lakefield Farm, located in the lush County Laois, inland Ireland, is one of the first farms that Waterford started working with and also won Waterford’s own Grower of the Year Trophy for its 2019 barley crop which, according to the distillery proves to be of a consistently exceptional quality. Whether we’re going to taste that quality in this very first Lakefield edition (made from a crop from 2016), well … let’s find out now, shall we?

This Lakefield has matured in 46% 1st fill American Oak, 23% virgin oak, 15% French oak and 16% VDN casks and is 3 years, 7 months, and 28 days old. Bottled at a strength of 50% ABV.

Lakefield 1.1 tasting notes:

Nose: A little malty at first. Oatmeal and Digestive biscuits. A hint of blueberries, followed by fresh Lemons and green apples. Vanilla. A touch of hay. Then it becomes a little bit sweeter. Honey and toffee. Sweet strawberries and cookie dough too.

Taste: sweet and creamy on the arrival with plenty of caramel and honey. Blueberries again. Red apples. A lovely lemon pie. Digestive biscuits. Followed by a touch of marzipan and a little bit of pink grapefruit. White pepper.

Finish: mid-long to long with blueberries, white pepper and a hint of cloves

Pretty good, yes it’s young, but the quality is certainly there. What I personally like is that the wine cask influence is not as present in this one compared to the other SFO’s I’ve tasted. On closer examination, I also saw that these casks were less present than those previous editions. So that explains it. Anyway, it’s a pleasant young single malt that already has quite a bit of complexity to it.

Bottle provided by Waterford.