After releasing a whole host of Single Farm Origins around the world, Waterford now has released something different, the Waterford Organic Gaia 1.1. The first in a series of organic whiskies, but it’s also the first single malt in the Arcadian Series. A new range that will not only include organic whisky but also biodynamic and heritage distillates.

The idea to produce organic whisky started back in 2015, since then the distillery has worked with 6 farmers, who grow organic Irish barley in the traditional way. However, the volume of the barley wasn’t enough to also distil an Organic Single Farm Origin. So for this first release, it was decided to mix all barley from the 6 farms as 1 batch, and then distil it. But now that the distillery manages to acquire more organic barley, around 400-600 barrels are filled annually, which will lead to a few Organic Single Farm Origins being released in the future.

This Waterford Organic has matured in 42% first-fill US oak, 17% virgin US oak, 18% Vin Doux Naturel (sweet fortified wines) and 23% premium French oak. Bottled at a strength of 50% ABV.

Waterford Organic Gaia 1.1. tasting notes:

Nose: creme brulee, green apples. Barley notes. Drizzling lemon cake. A drop of honey. Mandarins and green bananas. A floral note in the background.

Taste: vanilla custard, lemons and pears. Barley. Honey. Mint and a hint of sweet pink grapefruit, but not the bitterness if that makes sense. Pink peppercorns.

Finish: mid-long and dry. Slightly oaky, sweet and peppery.

It’s young but good. Maybe a little too peppery towards the finish. The proportions of casks are slightly different than with the Single Farm Origins, so there is a little less wine cask influence and you can taste that, but I think that is actually nice here.

Bottle provided by Waterford Distillery.