I have been accused of many things in my life and had many names thrown my way but I certainly was not expecting the fall out from giving my opinion on whisky. I have received over the years plenty of backlash, but you become accustomed to that although doing whisky reviews when it comes to Waterford has taken that to another level..
Opinions are very much a personal thing and should be taken that way, what I will say here, is that even though I stand by my opinions I am always open to being proven wrong, I am even happy to admit defeat when I know I am wrong..
Todays review is again going to be open to criticism but I ask you to bear with me until the end if you can.
I have often argued that the best point of proving the Terroir argument will be at the new make stage and luckily I have now been able to get hold of some and will take a look.. The argument I have given, is that to do this experiment the production has to be identical, this we now know is not the case here, it is however done as close as is possible from what we are told, there will always be some small differences in production as i am guessing perfection does not exist when it comes to producing spirit, but if there is enough of a difference here then it should still in theory be noticeable.. The proof is in the pudding as they say..
Broomsland – New Make
Barley strain .. Olympus
Soil.. Fine Loam Drift
Nose.. A rush of digestive biscuits, citrus peels, quite floral with Ovaltine and freshly stewed apples.
Palate.. An initial malty onslaught before giving way to stewed fruits, citrus bitterness, a little grapefruit, damp grass and a hint of honey
Finish.. Malty with a clean feel
Thoughts.. This new make is very clean and shows a lot of promise..
The Rocks – New Make
Barley Strain.. Olympus
Soil.. Fine Loam Drift
Nose.. Again this is initially malty with those citrus notes following, hints of Ovaltine, apple pie and floral.
Palate.. Quite a hit of malty tones initially with a little bitterness, grassy with some sweetness.
Finish.. Malty and clean
Thoughts.. Again this is very clean with a real freshness coming through..
Overall thoughts.. Firstly, these two new makes are very clean, fresh and have a quality feel to them, absolutely no off notes and as they say, start with quality and you should create a quality product..
Now, these two new makes, in my opinion are extremely similar, they nose and taste the same, although one did have a slight prickle to it. I even poured some new make from another distillery to make sure I could find a difference and luckily I did..
I then went back to the samples where I picked up the off notes, this is where it gets interesting, where did it come from, I found it in both matured samples, it had to be either cask, production or even Terroir as there is absolutely no sign in these two samples, and the two matured samples were different barley strains to the new make !!.. Unfortunately I will never know as I know I wont be able to try these new makes from the matured samples..
There is every possibility its down to the strain, as it does seem interesting these were Irina and not Olympus like these new makes, Tasting enough new make will be the only way to test this theory..
So, just to be perfectly clear here.. This didn’t prove much in the terms of does Terroir exist in the spirit, what it does show though, which in my mind is more important, this spirit is good, it is well made by those who are making it every day, and i have no doubt that one day it will make good whisky !!
Do you really need to know much more ?
What I will say though, to those who like me doubt the marketing behind these products, please don’t let it put you off the whisky, you need to try it, the people who make it don’t deserve any boycotts as they work hard to produce a liquid that is worthy of your attention.. They are trying to do things differently and that is to be applauded, different can be good, it may one day be excellent..