Waterford debuts ‘accessible’ single malt

Mark Reynier has added a new permanent Irish single malt whiskey to its Waterford range and released Renegade Rum’s inaugural aged bottlings.

Reynier is the founder and CEO of Irish whiskey distillery Waterford and former managing director of Scotch producer Bruichladdich. He revealed his plans for a US$25 million rum distillery in Grenada in 2018.

The Irish producer has revealed Cuvée: Argot, a permanent addition to its single malt whiskey range and the first from the distillery to be made available globally.

Waterford released its signature expression, The Cuvée, in September 2021.

Cuvée: Argot is matured fully in a combination of casks: 37% first-fill US oak, 19% virgin US oak, 19% premium French oak and 23% Vin Doux Naturel.

The whiskey, pronounced ‘Ar-go’, brings together Waterford’s Single Farm Origin whiskeys, alongside a hint of Irish peat.

The distillery released Ballybannon and Fenniscourt last year – described as the first whiskies to use ‘real Irish peat for generations’.

Waterford’s Cuvée concept is said to be the first of its kind in the Irish single malt sector. The producer harvests, distils and matures Irish barley by farm, with each providing their ‘distinct’ terroir-derived flavour profile.

Through ‘pioneering’ technology, drinkers will have full access to how the barley was harvested, stored, malted, and distilled.

Reynier said: “We are delighted to introduce the Cuvée: Argot as part of our continued quest to uncover whiskey’s most natural flavours.

“At Waterford Distillery, our view is rather than a manufactured product, Waterford Whisky is an agricultural produce. It’s of the land; our reverence for its raw material, barley.

“On the one hand we can express barley by letting Ireland’s farmlands do the talking via our Single Farm Origins; or as in this case, with ultimate creativity, we can bring these flavours, those barley ingredients together for ultimate harmony and complexity in the same way as Bordeaux grand vin and Champagne grand marques.”

Reynier describes Argot as a “refreshing, more accessible bottling for whisky lovers and flavour enthusiasts”.

Ned Gahan, head distiller at Waterford, provided tasting notes: “The whiskey has aromas of orange peel, almonds stewed apple, bread crust, green foliage, mixed berries, fennel and white chocolate, with the flavours of bell peppers, granola, grapefruit, smoky barbecue, banana milkshake, green apple skin – the finish is long, warming, peppery and dry.”

Cuvée: Argot will be available at waterfordwhisky.com from mid-March, and globally from key retailers, priced at €59.90/£54.99/US$59.95.

Renegade Rum release 

Grenada-based Renegade Rum has also unveiled its first aged sugarcane-based spirits, called Études. It comprises of two limited edition expressions, New Bacolet and Pearls.

Renegade Rum Distillery uses heritage grain varieties grown on different soils and microclimates in Grenada. The rums are made with fresh cane juice.

Études spotlights two terroirs on the island: New Bacolet, a south-facing, steep-sided, sun-baked amphitheatre planted with drought-resistant cane on dry slopes; and Pearls, a fertile coastal area that lies between a mangrove and water meadow, where cane grows on water-retentive clay soil.

Reynier said: “Having seen over the last two decades what barley can do for whisky when one pays fanatical attention to the primary ingredient, I have been curious to know what cane can do for rum.

“These Études, or studies, each harvested from a single field within a single terroir within a single-farm origin with total traceability and transparency give us — and the true rum fan — the ultimate in authenticity and individuality from cane to cask.

“The raison d’être is that by drilling down into natural terroir-derived flavour, the result of volcanic soils, tropical microclimates and weathered valleys, we can showcase Grenada’s natural flavours via a veritable library of maturing cane rums.”

The two rums were both aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels, before being bottled at 55% ABV. There are only 6,000 bottles of each expression released worldwide, priced at RRP £65 (US$75).

Renegade Rum released its first bottlings in the UK in December 2021.

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Timothy Kelly

Tim is the Founder & Master Distiller at Felene. He developed his passion for the spirits and hospitality business while growing-up and working in his family's restaurant and liquor store business. Tim’s passion for the epicurean lifestyle has found it’s latest manifestation in the Felene Distillery. Tim is a 5-time Gold Medal Award winning Distiller. He has won a Platinum medal at the Prestigious Los Angeles Spirits Awards and his signature vodka was named Best-in-Category by the American Distilling Institute. Mr. Kelly is also a prolific author and writer and his blog is filled with ideas, discoveries, observations and recommendations to help his readers enjoy life’s simple epicurean pleasures.

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