Waterford Distillery is situated on the banks of the river Suir, in Ireland’s sunny south-east.
The distillery is housed in what’s locally called “the old Guinness Brewery” (for obvious reasons) and can’t be missed as you cross the bridge coming into Waterford city from Kilkenny.
Waterford Distillery is taking a new approach to Irish whisky. Their barley is 100% Irish and sourced from 46 local farms in the south east of Ireland. Each farm’s barley is stored separately, distilled separately and aged separately. This allows the unique attributes (or Terroir) of each farm and region to be examined individually before determining the preferred bottling.
The state-of-the-art facility was originally built by Diageo in 2004 and was acquired by London-based Renegade Spirits in 2014. Renegade Spirits is spearheaded by Mark Reynier, formerly the head of Bruichladdich Scotch whisky distillery.
The first whisky distillation ran in January 2016 under the watchful eyes of head distiller Ned Gahan, who originally worked with Guinness. It is a single malt and is currently still maturing in French and American oak. About 2500 barrels of spirit are currently maturing in their warehouse with two further warehouses under construction.
First whiskies were released in 2020 with many more planned for a 2021 release.
There is no visitors center as of yet and no documented plan to establish one in the foreseeable future.
This is a distillery to watch. And then keep watching.