Former managing director of the Scottish distillery Bruichladdich, Mark Reynier, founded the Waterford Distillery in 2014 in the town of the same name and County Waterford. The extremely modern distillery is located directly on the Suir River. Reynier and his team have developed an exciting concept that should make the grain the focus of attention and taste. 46 farmers supply the distillery with 120 tons of barley for 46 weeks of production. Production has been at full capacity since March 2016.
How does Waterford Whiskey taste?
Waterford whisky is absolutely fantastic, the various farm offerings have been varied but incredibly well recieved so far. Mark Reynier’s firm belief was that connoisseurs of his single-farm whiskies would taste the terroir of Waterfords offerings. If that is true still remains to be seen but the evidence is mounting.
How is Waterford Whiskey made?
The building was originally commissioned by Diageo. From now on, Guinness, the most famous Irish beer, was to have a new production facility. Then the group giant changed its mind in 2013 and shut down the brewery, which was only built in 2004. In 2014 the facility was taken over by Waterford Distillery. Both the futuristic architecture and the high-tech brewery equipment that still exists are likely to fuel the burners’ willingness to experiment. 6 of the 46 farms even produce organic barley. Each week the barley of a different farmer is processed and 128 barrels are filled each week. At the end of the day, each barrel filling can be assigned the field on which the barley that was processed could grow. Terroir is really important here!
An ultra-modern hydromill together with a mash filter makes the use of a mash tun superfluous, while fermentation can take place in heat-adjustable fermentation vats. Ex-bourbon barrels are mainly used and so far only a small proportion has been filled into ex-sherry barrels.
Who is Mark Reynier
The founder Mark Reynier was formerly the brain behind the rebuilding of the Islay distillery Bruichladdich. The former wine merchant approaches whiskey production in a similar way to wine production: he wants to capture the terroir with his whiskey , i.e. the origin-specific character of the grain.
Waterford’s Lomond Still
In addition to lots of new ideas, Mark Reynier also took away two pot stills (a wash still and a spirit still) from Bruichladdich for his Waterford project, the still in question had operated as the Inverleven distillery having been rescued from Dumbarton by the Bruichladdich distillery.
History of the Waterford Distillery
There’s not so much history behind the company, which was only founded in 2014. Reynier and his team are currently planning to buy the next Spirit Still in the next five years. This will further expand the already considerable capacities of the distillery.
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2014: Mark Reynier's company Renegade Spirits buys the young and ultra-modern Guinness brewery in Waterford
2015: Exactly 53 weeks after the purchase, the first new make flow from the used Inverleven / Bruichladdich pot stills
2020: The first whisky launch by Waterford distillery come to market