Waterford Gaia: Edition 1.1

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Arcadian Series
Calculated age
04 years old
US FF, US Nw.Oak, Fr.Oak, Vin Doux Naturel
Number of bottles
50.0 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Added on
25 Sep 2020 8:39 pm by whisky313

Average value

€ 78.98

32 × in wishlist

161 × member ratings

633 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Waterford Gaia: Edition 1.1

36 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 84.16 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 82 points Connoisseur

    [August, 2021] The whiskey world turns crazy these days - not just that any older dram fetches prices way north of 200 bucks (and climbing) no matter of its quality but many renowned and reliable whiskey blogger (like Serge) rate under-aged drams with scores above 85 points at the dozens (even from third-tier distilleries). I still did not find any reason for this massive uplift of scores, most probably my taste buds are too dull to find the hidden secrets of today's pre-teen drams but I keep trying...

    ...and Waterford distillery stands somewhat in the centre of this hype with Serge scoring unbelievable 90 points. To put this into perspective: In 2007 he scored a 30-years old Bowmore from 1957 two points less at 88 and the 42-years old "Black Bowmore" from 1964 just one point better at 91. So, according to these gospels this Waterford must be a flabbergasting "paedophilic" dram...

    ...to be honest, I am out of this strange youngster's game not knowing what it is good for. Maybe there comes a time when I get bored of all these hyper-complex, super-balanced and delightful treats to my taste buds from old drams which matured a decent time in non-aggressive casks but I doubt this will happen very soon (if ever). I will return to Waterford releases once they become adult - which is around 10 years of age for non-peated and 8 years for peated malts, in my honest opinion.
    • Nose
      82 82
      The colour is yellow gold and the nose offers a fresh and very young profile (what else?) with mostly cereals and some shy fruits and honeys in a still unfinished hence unbalanced mixture. This is easy to sniff but very simple like almost all paedophilic drams - hey, why do they age whiskey for more than the legally required three years? There most be a quality reason for this, otherwise it would be financially stupid. Yes, I can see this distillate is clean and will become an excellent malt once it matured a decent time, most probably. But it does not smell excellent at this age, sorry Serge.
    • Taste
      83 83
      The taste is pretty immature with malty-mashy flavours dominating in a very sweet barley sugary profile. There are no flaws or off-notes but this dram is far from being balanced, which is not a shame at such an young age. Balance comes with maturity, not just for humans... What else to say? Actually not a lot, it is drinkable but why should I?
    • Finish
      81 81
      The initial mouthfeel is good but not excellent, to be honest. The coating effect is rather limited and there are some minor drying-astringent moments of the tannins (surprisingly for such a young dram, obviously the cask was very aggressive - modern whiskey "zeitgeist"). The finish is of medium length and adds no new impressions beside an increasing dryness towards the end. Water turns the nose punchier (more alcoholic) and even younger with much more bready aromas, same with the taste. I clearly prefer the neat dram.

  2. Gareth74 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Do you want custard with that?

    I'm not sure how I feel about all this 'barely legal' whiskey hitting the market. Every other day there appears to be an inaugural release from a new distillery with a young whiskey that tastes of next to nothing. It all feels a little rushed and, I hate to say, boring. But..., but but but, there's always an exception to the rule. I've not had the Raasay young'n but it looks very tasty and there's a few others which are worth a sip to be sure. And The Waterford Gaia 1.1 is one of them. yes it is.

    To be fair I wasn't expecting too much from this. Like others of a similar age I've tended to see them more as mementos of a special moment in time rather than an actual, drinkable product but this is.

    On the nose, oof! what a wallop of vanilla and custard and fruitiness and syrups and LOADS or barley. This is porridge and custard. All mixed together with a squeeeeeze of fruit syrup. This is breakfast. Warm gristiness, bready notes. The wood from the sweet wine barrels is there making it feel like sunlight is shining on it. I'm a little taken aback. I was expecting something far more woody and stark and something far nearer to new make, than this. It's very creamy on the nose too. Some sort of slightly aromatic spice, a handful of sage leaves, a little earth and a little citrus peel. I like it. The lesson, never prejudge something.

    So, in the mouth. Thick, custard and vanilla are right up front, it really coats the mouth, the creaminess in the nose translates directly to the palate. Spiced custard all over a warm porridge. A teaspoon of apricot jam is in there somewhere, the fruitiness is really nice. The sweet french wine barrels are apparent but not dominant. I am loving the custard. Custard, who doesn't love custard? This is comfort food merged with booze and bottled with sunshine. It's light but full and that mouthfeel is excellent, it really does blanket the tongue. There's a slight building of citrus notes in the mix, some old barley sugar sweets (haven't had any of those in a long time!) and little brittle toffee and stale chocolate. Marzipan - I was never a fan, maybe more frangipani, either way there that in the mid palate and I actually quite like it, sweet almond paste. Mmm. Spicy on the swallow. Well. Bloody Hell. That was pretty good. The finish isn't huge, but how could it be? But it is full and creamy. It kind of holds onto the porridge notes and it goes out sweetly, no bitter notes. A creamy, honeyed, dryish finish. Ginger and wood spice. I just want to keep sipping this.

    So, it;s pretty good. Way better than I was expecting. This is going to be pretty spectacular in years to come as long as the barrels don't swamp the character. This sunny, sweet porridge is delightful. I want to get another at 5yo or 8yo and then see how it's going. I get the feeling that this is going to be one of those whiskies that will help rewrite the Irish whiskey landscape in years to come.

  3. holborndrinker scored this whisky 74 points Connoisseur

    I recommend flipping this bottle - upside down over a sink. Not my cup of tea (would rather have a cup of tea).
    • Nose
      74 74
      Reminded me of a baby regurgitating a rusk - oat flavoured baby sick.
    • Taste
      75 75
      Weird - not a normal whiskey (the baby sick carries on), sweet.
    • Finish
      72 72
      If you can't say anything good, say nothing: nothing.

  4. thijs100 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    The youth is mostly noticeable on the somewhat aggressive palate, but otherwise this is another well-rounded, impressive showing from Waterford.
    • Nose
      The barley and cereal notes are omnipresent, always lurking. Hints of droopy honey enhance the sweet floral notes, but vanilla, orange zest, mush bananas and raw sugar stand out as well. A whiff of chalk as well, with some lingering spicy notes in the back row.
    • Taste
      Thick, oily and spicy. A fair amount of oak and heat, with cloves and pepper vying for attention. Cherries, quinces, pear skin and dried apricots restore the balance.
    • Finish
      Pretty dry, but sweet and with notes of port-stewed pears in the end.

  5. Archer scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Sometimes not a single farm origin, but a "blend" of different barley - very similar in taste to the single farm origin bottlings, as well as qualitatively. Could they actually save the whole fuss with Teireoir etc. Tastes like that too. ;-)
    Here, too, it is very pleasantly surprising how far it is in terms of taste with only 3 years, 9 months and 20 days under his belt.
    And no, I'm neither on you and you with M. Reynier, nor do I hold shares in Renegade Spirits Ireland Limited.
    • Nose
      87 87
      The nose welcomes you with a freshness and the scent of just cut red apples, with pear compote, garnished with cinnamon and sugar and a scent of fresh hay. Has nothing schnapps or immature about it, despite its short maturation period. Almond butter, nougat chocolate, toffee, coffee beans.
    • Taste
      87 87
      On the tongue with a pleasantly powerful start, in which ripe red apples romp about, accompanied by milk chocolate, marzipan, malt, vanilla and honey. Slightly dry at the beginning, it attracts over time and spreads small wooden blocks on the tongue. Removes a mild blend of spices, not identifiable.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium-long and dry finish. A sweet fruity note of light fruits, some rosemary and thyme, finely chopped almonds, dark chocolate.

  6. Jackson05 scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Promising young malt. Not a necessary buy at this age, but it’s solid for what it is.

  7. whiskydramo scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
      Rich sweet fruit to start. Mango, pineapples, apple. Then honey. Lemon pomelo. Hay. Then cherry. Also walnut and pear. Hard inhale: it smelled like sprite. From the side sweet thick fruits like mango, hami melon. Smell again - liquorice. Malt after a sip. It's quite capricious!
    • Taste
      83 83
      Melon. Grassy. Pomelo peel. Sharp and mild spiciness like ginger. Sweetness dropped more oily. A hint of citrus sourness, disappeared fast
    • Finish
      81 81
      Little bit numb pepper. Not sweet. Cheap Diluted green tea. Eventually tongue and upper mouth felt dry

  8. DenverbroncosDuke scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    I have already checked out almost all of Waterford's bottlings and have not even been disappointed so far. This organic whiskey is no exception, it has all the classic attributes of older Irish whiskeys (is a great fruit bomb).
    • Nose
      88 88
      Tropical fruits, especially pineapple, fresh notes of lemon and grapefruit.
    • Taste
      85 85
      Pineapple, hints of mango, some grapefruit, strong sweetness, cloves.
    • Finish
      83 83
      Medium-long aftertaste with clear oak tones, becoming increasingly bitter but still pleasing.

  9. Whisky-Connaisseur did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    A still young Irish single malt that already leaves a mature and advanced impression. Strongly characterised by cereal notes, with a light fruitiness, warming spices and a discreet earthiness as a counterpoint. I like it much better with water. Interesting, and certainly a distillery that needs to be observed further.

    I thank Kirsch Import e.K. for the complimentary sample!

    • Nose
      Sweet cereal notes mix with bread crust and slightly earthy tones. Then slowly fruity aromas of apricot, peach and pink grapefruit emerge, with a touch of lime. Spicy notes of white pepper and ginger, with a whiff of lemon cake dough in the background.
    • Taste
      Initially sweet on the palate with fruity notes of apricot and peach, accompanied by creamy vanilla. Then warming and spicy with pepper, ginger and oak. Becomes increasingly dry with citrus peels - orange and lime, followed by some sweetness with malt candy and barley sugar.
    • Finish
      The finish is of medium length and warming with increasingly dry and bitter notes of pink grapefruit and lemon peel. A little barley sugar sweetness towards the end.

      With water: After adding a little water, it becomes much fresher and more present on the nose with citrus, cereals, ginger and vanilla notes. Creamier on the palate with vanilla, malt sugar and fruity notes of apricot and fig. Pleasantly warming with creamy milk chocolate and some honey. The finish is still of medium length, slightly warming and dry with earthy tones, oak and slightly spicy bread crust.

  10. Whiskylifestyle scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    • 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.


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