...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.
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.
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?
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.