Waterford is the new Irish distillery from Mark Reynier, which we all remember from his years at Bruichladdich. His search for terroir – or Tèireoir as he very cleverly put on the label – continues undiminished for his new bottlings, of which the very first releases sold out in a flash. This Ballykicavan matured on a combination of American oak, French oak and French Vin Doux Natural casks. The barley, as the name suggests, comes from one single farm: Ballykilcavan. Hence the moniker Single Farm Origin.
The nose is very young and shows quite some new make-y traits. Luckily I quite like new make. Some sweet barley, farmy scents, freshly cut grass, oats and vanilla. After a few moments some fruity notes appear in the guise of green banana, juicy apricots and lime zest. Some graphite as well. And a touch of rubber, I’m sorry to say. In all honesty, this nose reminds me more of a Scottish Lowland malt then an Irish one.
The body is very creamy and the malt is bittersweet. The sweet barley and citrus fruit return, with some pepper, but the new make-y notes return as well. I can almost taste the mash! Nevertheless, it is pretty good. I’m actually a bit impressed. Vanilla and a sudden uppercut of caramel make it very sweet – more so than the nose promised. It actually turns a bit candy-like.
I get some more unripe banana, but also apples and pears in the surprisingly long, bittersweet and somewhat drying finish.
Not bad for such a young malt, but not great either. Does not feel Irish at all, but that is fine, of course. What bothered me a bit was the note of rubber on the nose and the rather candy-like taste, but the finish made up for all of that. Initially released around 70 EUR.