Waterford Whiskey Society welcomed three of the more recent entrants to the Irish whiskey market to partake in its sixth tasting event of the year, and were delighted to have Stephen Randles from Origin Spirits, Maurice O’Connell from Wayward Spirits, and James Doherty from Sliabh Liag Distillery to go through some of their expressions as well as detailing their plans for the future.
First up was Stephen who went through their Currach range of whiskeys which are sourced 3-4YO Triple Distilled single malts from West Cork Distillery using Irish Barley and finished in seaweed charred casks for a period of 3-4 months. The seaweed is sustainably hand harvested by the Talty family in Quilty Co. Clare. They currently sell into 20 international markets with a big presence in Asia.
The first expression was created using Irish Atlantic Kombu Kelp Seaweed. This creates a rich multi-layered whiskey with a delicate umami character. The second core expression used Atlantic Wakame Seaweed – a complex yet subtle, vegetal yet sweet, light yet deep whiskey. A third expression is on the cards using Dillisk seaweed.
Next up was Maurice who releases whiskey under the Liberator brand, a sourced triple distilled single malt from GND which uses his own estate barley grown in Killarney, with a portion of maturation done on the estate as well, giving a slightly longer maturation season of 10 months with an average temperature of 7 deg. and relatively high levels of humidity.
We tasted a 27-month-old Pot Still called the lakeview single estate, a 50:50 mash bill which is being matured in shaved and toasted NEOC casks. The second expression was their newest limited release, a Port ‘N’ Peat premium blend with a high malt content (43%), including 2015/16 GND single malt (of which 5% is peated), a small amount of 2006 Cooley single malt, and grain whiskey from GND and Cooley.
Wayward hope to begin distilling onsite from 2024, and in the meantime will continue to release their own sourced whiskey as well as independently sourced casks from a number of distilleries.
To finish up we have James give us a run through their Silkie range of whiskies and also detail their plans for their distillery.
The Silkie and Dark Silkie are a range of blends made from double and triple distilled single malt with grain whiskey (maize), and 4%/15% peated malt respectively. They currently sell into 30 countries worldwide as well as 48 states within the USA. They have released some CS versions which proved very popular and sold out in a matter of hours. The expectation is for a new release later this year which will be a more heavily peated whiskey.
The distillery is currently under construction which in part has been supported through a crowd funding initiative, when complete it will produce circa 3,000 barrels per year of 50:50 Pot Still and Single Malt and all peated.
This was a fantastic and varied tasting, and all expressions went down very well on the night. For many this was a first introduction to these whiskies, so it was a great learning experience.
The Whiskeys tasted:
· Currach Single Malt Whiskey finished in Atlantic Kombu Seaweed cask @46%
· Currach Single Malt Whiskey finished in Atlantic Wakame Seaweed cask @46%
· The Liberator Irish Whiskey Storehouse Special Port ‘N’ Peat blend @46%
· The Liberator Irish Whiskey Lakeview Single Estate Pot Still @46%
· The Silkie Irish Whiskey Blend @ 46%
· The Dark Silkie Irish Whiskey Blend (Peated) @46%
All the best WWS