Peated Ballybannon: 47 ppm
Only 11,500 bottles available globally
From Waterford Whisky website:
A PEATED ODYSSEY FROM ISLAY TO IRELAND
No stranger to this method of production, our CEO Mark Reynier, who resurrected Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, created the now-iconic peated Scotch whiskies of Port Charlotte and Octomore.
“To achieve this in Ireland with the same authenticity was going to be a much greater challenge, one that our maltsters, Minch Malt, readily agreed to accept. At Waterford we are fascinated by the natural flavours of whisky so I was curious to see what real Irish peat brings to the table, flavours that have been long lost, and ultimately whether terroir trumps peat in the flavour Olympics.
We selected two Single Farm Origin barleys – with distinctive terroirs – to see if those naturally occurring flavours shone through or were in fact dominated by peat. Finding the right quality Irish peat was a challenge but the greatest problem of all was there were no operational kilns left in Ireland; the knowledge had been forgotten. We needed Scottish help.”
While the peating levels (phenols expressed as parts per million) are similar to famous Islay whiskies such as Port Charlotte and Ardbeg and more than Bowmore or Lagavulin, the extraordinary result is distinctly different with the intensity of Ireland’s barley shining through the encompassing envelope of refined peatiness.
It offers curious tasters and peat fanatics (known affectionately as Peat Freaks) a completely new experience to compare and contrast. Or perhaps it is merely an old one from a bygone era, reawakened? And as to whether terroir trumps peat…