Leading the way for the Barley-forward terroir-driven producer was Waterford’s Single Farm Origin: Hook Head which not only won the ‘Best Irish Single Malt’ title but also picked up the overall award for the ‘Best Irish Whiskey’.
All entries are judged via controlled blind-tasting to determine the best in class amongst some of the world’s most premium spirits.
Waterford collected the following:
- • Best Irish Whiskey & Best Irish Single Malt: Single Farm Origin – Hook Head Edition 1.1
- • Double Gold Medal: Single Farm Origin – Hook Head: Edition 1.1
- • Double Gold Medal: Single Farm Origin – Dunmore: Edition 1.2
- • Gold Medal: Single Farm Origin – Dunbell Edition 1.2
- • Gold Medal: Organic – Gaia: Edition 1.1
- • Silver Medal: Single Farm Origin – Lakefield: Edition 1.1.
“We entered five whiskies and came away with seven awards including ‘Best Irish Whiskey’,” commented Mark Reynier, Chief Executive at Waterford Distillery, “At a mere four years of age, perhaps proof that fancy age statements don’t necessarily equate to quality in the eyes of competition judges.”
Unlike other producers, Waterford Distillery’s focus is on exploring barley grown on the diverse terroirs of the South East of Ireland and ultimately how these can influence the flavours of single malt whisky. The concept, commonly practiced among the greatest wine producers, is the principle that factors such as weather, soil and microclimate influence the flavours found in barley to create the truly authentic flavours of a place.
To show its terroir-driven approach, Waterford Distillery has a unique digital logistical system to track of each farmer’s crop, how it’s harvested, stored, malted and distilled separately – guaranteeing the integrity of each Single Farm Origin – this is shown to drinkers on every bottle of whisky via its pioneering Teireoir code.