Are you curious about the origins of Whisky's natural flavour?

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Are you legally old enough
(and sufficiently curious)
to enjoy terroir-driven whisky?

Where vineyard inspiration, modern brewing and traditional distillation meet to create the most naturally flavoursome single malt.
A whisky rich in artisanal bakery aromas and a luxurious mouthfeel, generous in flavour, persistent in finish. Here’s how we create it.

“Whisky has become homogenised, an industrially manufactured product, propped up with additives and finishes. Yet it used to be authentic, localised agricultural produce – using barley, the most flavoursome cereal in the world. We go back to the start, explore the thousands of barley flavour compounds – and let terroir talk and natural flavour shine.”

Founder Mark Reynier

What do we mean by natural flavour? The utmost respect of the raw materials. Terroir, biodynamics, organics, heritage barley. The old ways. Regenerative agriculture. All part of our vineyard inspiration.

Barley is the source of single malt whisky’s flavour. It is, like any plant, influenced by where and how it is grown. Working with 110 Irish growers, we explore the individuality of natural flavour across the South East of Ireland by distilling distinctly flavoursome Single Farm Origins, each one unique from the ground up.

Our production methods are radical: pioneering, anaerobic milling; mash filtration; thermoregulated, malolactic fermentations for a creamy middle palate; ‘low and slow’ distillations for an oily mouthfeel; and Good Wood – the best French and American oak that money can buy.

Influenced by legendary Grand Vins of Bordeaux and Grande Marques of Champagne, we are uniquely able to bring these methodologies together creatively. No additives, no chill-filtration, no cask finishing. Simply the most naturally flavoursome single malt.

the journey of an idea
– 40 years in the making

The vineyard inspiration behind our vision begins with our founder, Mark Reynier, who has over four decades of experience in the industry, from owning a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy, to being a wine importer and merchant in London; then in 2001 came the resurrection of the iconic Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay, where he established the Botanist Gin, Port Charlotte and Octomore single malts.

It wasn’t until he founded Waterford Distillery in 2016, in the South East of Ireland – home to the perfect growing conditions for producing the world’s finest barley – that the principles such as terroir, biodynamics and cuvées could be firmly and rigorously applied to barley and whisky.

Ours is an idea 40 years in the making.

The World’s finest barley

Why are we here?

What makes Ireland’s celebrated Sunny South East supreme to any other region of the world for growing barley? This luscious, verdant landscape – ameliorated by the Gulf Stream, tempered by maritime winds, illuminated by superior sunlight – is where warm, moist air meets fertile, glacial soils. Sedimentary rocks laid down by ancient inland seas, blanketed by glacial deposits, enriched by widespread alluvial silts, weathered from sandstone, shale, limestone, loess and loams, nourish naturally fertile and free-draining brown earth and podzol soils: barley’s roots bask in subterranean opulence.

Each year there is half as much rain, and 400 hours more sunlight, than our confreres in Scotland. It is brighter here even than the tips of southern England.

Over 10,000 summers barley has evolved in tandem with its microclimates and soils – with access to everything it could ever need. That is why we are here.

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE NOT MANUFACTURED PRODUCT

By way of introduction, what do we mean by natural flavour? The utmost respect of the raw materials. Terroir, biodynamics, organics, heritage barley. The old ways. Regenerative agriculture. These factors are part of the vineyard inspiration behind our vision. Barley is the source of single malt whisky’s flavour. It is, like any plant, influenced by where and how it is grown. Working with only Irish growers, we explore the individuality of natural flavour across the South East of Ireland by distilling distinctly flavoursome Single Farm Origins, each one unique from the ground up.

Our production methods are radical: pioneering, anaerobic milling; mash filtration; thermoregulated, malolactic fermentations; low and slow distillations; and Good Wood – the best French and American oak that money can buy. Inspired by the legendary Grand Vins and the Grande Marques of Champagne, we are uniquely able to bring these methodologies together creatively. No additives, no chill-filtration, no cask finishing. Simply the most naturally flavoursome single malt.

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The Cathedral

We have worked with a total of over 110 Irish growers, around 40 a year – some organic, some biodynamic, some heritage grains. All of our whiskies therefore use 100% demonstrably Irish-grown barley – one farm, one terroir, at a time. After harvest every year, the roads of rural Ireland become filled with our growers’ tractors carrying Single Farm Origin barley, and around the same time they converge upon a special bespoke storage facility, strategically sited at the centre of our barley heartlands.

This is a one-of-a-kind wonder-structure that we call our Cathedral of Barley – and next to it, as we add more growers, stands our Chapel. Built specifically for our requirements, a logistical challenge in its own right, without each farm’s individual crop slumbering in its own bin, in separation and ideal conditions, there can be no integrity or traceability. An unsung hero, the Cathedral is the terroir-enabler.

The Facilitator

There’s been a brewery here on the banks of the River Suir since 1792. Today’s Waterford Distillery, the technological marvel we call the Facilitator, enables us to create elite whisky. We keep each farm’s crop demonstrably separate – and treated equally – as we transform it from grain to spirit.

State-of-the-art equipment marries with ancient knowledge, local Irish barley with extended 120-hour fermentations, unhurried distillation with a spectrum of exceptional oak. In this way we can reveal the ultimate expression of terroir, farm by farm, harvest by harvest. Unique distillates, new starting points, & beguiling expressions of place.

TERROIR: OUR DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

TERROIR IS THE 3D INTERACTION ON A PLANT OF SOIL, MICROCLIMATE AND SITE. IT INFLUENCES HOW THE BARLEY GROWS AND THUS THE FLAVOURS CONTAINED WITHIN THE GRAIN. CAPTURED FARM BY FARM, TERROIR REQUIRES AN EXTENSIVE LOGISTICAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO VERIFY AND PROVE ITS INFLUENCE – EACH TERROIR IS A NEW STARTING POINT FOR OUR WHISKY. WE ARE FASCINATED BY THESE NUANCES. WE HOPE YOU WILL BE TOO.

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TEIREOIR

Unparalleled production methods

‘We’re trying to create the most naturally flavoursome
litre of alcohol – not the cheapest’

MARK REYNIER, FOUNDER & CEO

SINGLE
FARM ORIGIN

Each Single Farm Origin is a compelling and intriguing whisky, but also an intellectual challenge to the whisky world’s status quo. Our radical, uncompromising philosophy allows inquisitive drinkers to join our exploration of the frontiers of authentic flavours, to search beyond conventions and to celebrate individuality.

One place, one farm, at a time.

CUVÉE
CONCEPT

The Cuvée Concept, our unique modus operandi, is how we create, naturally, the most expressive, profound and complex single malt, by bringing together Single Farm Origins. In the same manner as the Grand Vins of Bordeaux, or the iconic cuvées of Champagne, we assemble these individual farms to provide our fullest and most generous expressions, which sets these pioneering whiskies apart. They provides a wide spectrum of flavour, richly textured and beguilingly persistent. Enigmatic gestalt, an ultimate expression.

ARCADIAN
FARM ORIGIN

We ask what organic farming, or the ancient wisdom of biodynamics can offer to the intensity of barley’s flavour. Our curiosity leads us to discover then resurrect rare heritage grains, one variety at a time; and to experience the pungency of real Irish peat for the first time in generations in whisky. With these radical methods we ask the inquisitive, daring drinker to join us on our unorthodox journey towards the frontiers of authentic, uninhibited flavour.

Totally traceable and transparent

There’s plenty we would like to share with you about each whisky. In fact, rather too much for a bottling label – that strange, tiny surface that has been regulated to death. Which is why drinkers will be able to access a special feature on our website. Every bottle of Waterford Whisky features its own pioneering TÉIREOIR code, which once entered online will reveal a host of unprecedented and engaging content related to the release.

DILUTE TO SUIT

The Waterford Whisky experience is at its optimum when comparing and contrasting individual bottlings to better observe the nuances of these terroir-driven spirits.

We recommend just a tear-drop of spring water to allow flavours to be stirred and released – don’t be afraid of adding water. Over time, more aromas will be revealed.

Indeed, time… it needs time in the glass to rest, to settle, to allow its full character to be experienced. For this is whisky served au naturel. Free of artificially added colour, free of flavour-killing chill-filtration and, despite the intense flavours of barley, it is also gluten-free.

This is totally natural whisky.

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