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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?

Recently our terroir team of Head Brewer Neil, Terroir Specialist Angelita and Dr Dustin Herb got all dressed up (Neil less so) and visited the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine.

It was a return to barley’s Jurassic Park – the place our Heritage Project began – to do a little filming around our upcoming Hunter release … and a little checking up on the first seeds of The Journey Project.

Once ‘miked up’ our barley botherers made their way across the beautiful campus to investigate the Irish seedbank tucked away in the Department’s vaults. Here, in a freezer not a million miles from what you might have in your own home, the last few grams of heritage grain varieties by the hundred slumber in cryostasis … a treasure trove of flavour waiting to be unlocked.

 

It was from this dragon’s hoard of ancient barley that the 50 gram bag of Hunter — ultimately to become our whisky — was taken along with, later, Goldthorpe and Old Irish. Neil rifled through the tiny packets, almost reminiscent of an astronaut’s food packages, but this wasn’t a withdrawal day. Maybe next time …

A quick look through some of the cupboards in the labs revealed every conceivable grain – not just barley, but wheats, corns, oats and more – all filed neatly by category, like finding oneself inside an agronomist’s head. A physical catalogue of the historic flavours of Ireland.

 

We examined the greenhouses where the first seeds of Hunter were upscaled from that one tiny packet to enough to sow a farm with. Specialist, high-tech, state of the art equipment? Not here. Nothing fancier than some grow-bags such as you might use for tomatoes. They nourished our Hunter, and they’ll go on to nourish our very own barley hybrids as we crossbreed heritage varieties in search of ultimate natural flavour.

EDITORIAL