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Portraits of Killone
A Single Farm … Organic
June 15, 2023 | editorial | 5 minute read

Farming organically means something. It is hard. It takes work, and occasionally heartbreak — never mind all the additional, often labyrinthine paperwork.

Yet that extra care for the land, that nourishment of the soil, has tangible benefits. Roots grow deeper; their diet of nutrients is more varied and rich. And as the barley accesses more — and more complex — food, so it naturally produces more flavour.

Of course, in the process, a sacrifice is made in terms of yield. Which was why, at first, despite taking all we could get, no single organic farm was initially able to fill our dedicated 90-tonne Boby malting plant.  Thus our Organic: Gaia was an expression of farming method; a combined harvest from all of our organic growers.

That was until father-son team Pat and Denis Booth, at Killone in Co. Laois achieved a record harvest, distilled at ‘The Facilitator’ in 2018. Over four vintages later, we’re delighted to be introducing our first Organic Single Farm Origin to curious drinkers making the pilgrimage to our Growers Gathering 2023.

Pat Booth
Pat and Dennis Booth
Organic Barley

We couldn’t have chosen a better farm to mark this very special occasion. Killone is one of our most atmospheric farms of all; a little Eden where one practically feels life teeming in the air, and where the passion for an older, slower, Arcadian way of farming is truly tangible. Our roaming photographer, Caolan, has this to say:

‘After following the winding back roads of Co. Laois, a long narrow lane leads you to the Booth’s farmyard. Perched on the side of a hill, the land descends gently into the lower lying fields at its base. From the top fields, you can see for miles. There’s a certain serenity here, it’s distinct. You can feel that these fields are cared for, that they are working with the nature around it. After meeting Pat and Denis Booth, you can understand why. Pat even sows extra seed in Spring so that the opportunistic birds can get their fill.’

‘Whether it’s their cattle, or their fields of barley, I am struck by their genuine enthusiasm for what they are doing here.’

Pat and Dennis

It’s been a long, hard road to bringing you an Organic Single Farm Origin. But as the precision of place meets the intensity of the old ways, the flavours we’ve found with Pat and Denis amongst those narrow lanes and fecund fields ringing with birdsong has truly been worth it.

 

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