Waterford Ballykilcavan 1.1

"Different, interesting with slightly too much wine involved in the nose, while the palate intrigues"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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I will not come back to the terroir discussion, instead I want to mention the incredible slick website of Waterford. So much information about so many elements, I would say it is almost overpowering and slightly too much. I does look cool though. The part that I absolutely love is accessed by providing the terroir code on the package. This opens details about the whisky and its ingredients (obviously much about the barley) that is mind-blowing. It even includes a soundscape of  the surroundings of the farm, which  you can listen to when you sip from the end-product (one of the neighbours of Ballykilcavan has dogs and it (often) rains). Do you want to know exactly which casks, where from, filled with how much? You will find it there. In particular, information about the the yeast strain and barley variety, I find essential for any whisky lover. This bottling is using Taberna barley  and Mauri Distiller’s yeast. Not that I know what that  means for the taste, but I am willing to learn. That is possibly what Waterford’s approach provides: a new world to explore for a whisky enthusiast.

Nose

Ok, let us compare it to the Bannow Island (just for fun). Less sweet, more wine and slightly less natural. Slight sweaty (it is rather hot over here). Cabbages, but now cooked in wine, and more towards sauerkraut. With water it gets winier and more sulphuric after a while. I believe the wine got slightly too much on the front foot here. Sweet desert wine, and more gunpowder.

Taste

The mouthfeel is rather similar, albeit drier. More cask influence with more tannins, and very grassy. A clear hint of smoke, or rather gunpowder. Slightly more aggressive on the alcohol, and also here more sour. Minerals, some hints of metals and some sweet floral hints. Rather lovely. The sulphur is also less present on the palate. With water I find rocket salad, ginger, red cabbage, sour apples and coal. I find the palate much more natural and rather different from the previous one. The aftertaste is slightly shorter, but pleasant. I find wine gums, lemon juice, a a sudden flush of strawberry sweet. Oh my, that was rather lovely. Although, on second thought I associate it more with bubblegum. Also good.

Overall

This wine performed much better on the palate compared to the nose. Compared to the Bannow Island, I find this less complex, less balanced, but maybe more interesting on the palate. For sure, it is different, although the influence of the casks feels fairly similar, albeit with more influence from the Vin Doux Naturel. Interesting drop that might develop into something great if the casks remain on the background.

What others say

Whiskybase: 84.82 (113 votes) * Thijs Klaverstijn @WordsOfWhisky: 82/100 * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 88/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
60%
Sweet <-> Spicy
45%
  • Wine
  • Sauerkraut
  • Bubblegum
Nose 82%
Taste 87%
Balance 84%
Depth 85%
Finish 86.5%
Score