Organic: Gaia 1.1
THE ARCADIAN SERIES REPRESENTS OUR OTHERWORLDLY GARDEN OF DELIGHTS. WE SOUGHT OUT MAVERICK FARMERS, INSPIRATIONAL GROWERS, ICONOCLASTS WHOSE ETHOS & WAY OF LIFE RESPECTS THE LAND & THE OLD WAYS IN THE PURSUIT OF PURE FLAVOURS OVER YIELD IMPERATIVES. GAIA, THE NEOPAGAN GODDESS OF YORE, A PERSONIFICATION OF MOTHER EARTH HERSELF, IS A FITTING CUSTODIAN TO BRING FORTH IRELAND’S FIRST WHISKY DISTILLED FROM CERTIFIED ORGANIC IRISH BARLEY.
We find it bemusing that much of the industry treats with indifference the primary source of single malt whisky’s extraordinary flavour: barley. We have placed barley – where and how it is grown – at the heart of what we do, curious about where the real whisky flavour may be found. A natural progression of this philosophy is to see what not only Single Farm Origins can accomplish but what organically grown barley can do when it is given the right platform. This is not from a brand eco-warrior position, or some grandstanding humblebrag, but because from experience we know it to show more definition of flavour. Like a Grand Prix team – in our Formula One distillery – we seek out those little differences, because they add up.
ORGANIC: GAIA 1.1 is the first organic Irish whisky as certified by the Organic Trust, having met rigorous production regimens and audits. It begins our new Arcadian Series – our unconventional array of organic, biodynamic and heritage distillates. This first whisky is distilled from organic Irish barley grown by Paddy Tobin, Alan Jackson, Pat and Denis Booth, Jason Stanley, Trevor Harris and John Mallick.
A century ago organic malting barley would have been ubiquitous in Ireland; today it is frustratingly rare. When we started the organic project in 2015 – our quest to go back in time to explore alternative farming methods – the volumes of Irish organic malting barley from any one farm were so small there was no possibility of distilling them as a Single Farm Origin. So given the incredibly low yields of organic barley, prior to distillation we combined these crops together as one batch, in contrast to our other distillations. In the years to come, we will be in a position to add a number of Organic Single Farm Origins. As it stands, we have taken all the organic malting barley we can possibly get our hands on – now laying down some 400-600 casks of organic spirit a year.
ORGANIC: GAIA 1.1 is fully matured in a spectrum of super-premium oak: 42% first-fill US oak, 17% virgin US oak, 18% Vin Doux Naturel – sweet fortified wines – and 23% premium French oak. It’s bottled at 50% ABV without colouring, chill-filtration or any additives. Totally natural.
ORGANIC: GAIA 1.1 is priced at approximately €80-86/£80 and $110 in the USA.
24,000 bottles will be released in over 25 markets worldwide, available 12th October onwards from specialist retailers.