Waterford Hook Head Edition 1.1 is one of two new global expressions in the Spring 2021 releases from this distillery (together with Lakefield Edition 1.1).
Hook Head, 10 miles from the distillery on Ireland’s southern coast, is said to have an extreme maritime terroir. The Propino barley, which is grown by Martin Foley on clay / loam soils, is exposed to salt-laden storms. It is matured in 46% first-fill bourbon barrels and 22% virgin oak barrels, the rest being Margaux wine, sherry and Marsala wine casks. As always they provide plenty of details on their website.
Waterford Hook Head – Edition 1.1 3 yo 2017 (50%, OB 2021, 30066 btl.)
Nose: this very bready character that is typical for Waterford at this moment. A lot of earthy spice as well, say nutmeg and clove. Salted popcorn in the background, as well as some milk chocolate and caramel. Some mossy, leafy notes. I’d say the saltiness and the very light iodine tingle is clearly noticeable here.
Mouth: there’s a toffee sweetness at first, as well as a faint citrusy touch, but it is quickly taken over by spices. White pepper, nutmeg, a few mustard seeds. Then rye bread and liquorice. Ginger notes. It dries towards the end – I think the wine casks are coming to the fore there – but it keeps a nice balance.
Finish: medium, with some drying oak, more spice and a whiff of menthol.
Another well-made, natural whisky which already shows a character different from all others. This particular expression is very spice-driven and indeed a bit coastal. Still bumping into the limits of age (of course) but promising. Around € 70-80.