Waterford Distillery is the first Irish organically certified whisky to be placed on the market. This is Mark Newton, head of communications at Waterford. “To our surprise, only a number of other distillers seem interested, but we are completely convinced of what the organic farming method can do for our drinks,” says Mark.
BIO: GAIA 1.1 was distilled in 2016 from organic Irish barley grown by a small, dedicated group of organic farmers. The single malt whisky is certified by the Organic Trust.
John Mallick, Paddy Tobin, Alan Jackson, Pat and Denis Booth, Jason Stanley and Trevor Harris took on the challenge of Waterford Distillery to produce the first organic brewing barley grown in Ireland.
It is part of Waterford’s Arcadian series. These are whiskies made with, among other things, inherited cereals or, for example, barley grown in an unusual way. Waterford’s Organic: Gaia 1.1 has matured in a spectrum of fresh super-premium Oak (42% first-fill US oak, 17% virgin US oak, 23% premium French oak and 18% Vin Doux natural – sweet fortified wine cases). It is bottled at 50% ABV without dyes, cold filtration or any additives – completely natural.
Mark Reynier, founder and CEO of Waterford Distillery, says: “it is unbelievable that a large part of the industry treats the primary source of the extraordinary taste of single whisky with so much indifference: barley. We have put barley – where and how it is grown – at the heart of what we do, curious as to where the real whisky taste is to be found.”
“A natural consequence of this philosophy is to see what can be achieved not only with ‘single farm origins’, but also what organically grown barley can do when it gets the right platform. Compliance with the biological status is certainly not easy – you have cleanup procedures, audits and assessments. So, is it worth it? We certainly think so, because what we lose in yield, we gain in purity and taste.”
“We are going serious: we are going to make 400 to 600 barrels of organic whisky a year. We buy all the organic malting barley grown in Ireland that we can get our hands on. Waterford Organic will be a major player in our current portfolio for the demanding whiskey drinker.”
Organic: Gaia 1.1 costs approximately 80 to 86 euro and will be available worldwide from specialist retailers in more than 20 markets from October 12. In Europe and Asia, 18,000 bottles are released, with another 6,000 bottles in the US.