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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Waterford Ballykilcavan 1.2 Irish Single Malt

In yesterday's Waterford intro, I left out one fun fact about all five of this week's single malts: each uses a single farm's barley. No matter what my feelings are about the final products' immaturity and cask choices, I do adore the single farm idea. The Ballykilcavan barley (Taberna strain) comes from David Walsh-Kemmis's farm in County Laois, a ways west down M7 from Dublin.

Ballykilcavan 1.2 is about 3 months older than the 1.1, taking it into the 4 year old realm except for the fact that the distiller mixed some 1.1 into the 1.2, so it technically has the same age statement.

Waterford Ballykilcavan 1.2

Distillery: Waterford
Owner: Renegade Spirits
Region: Waterford, Ireland
Type: Single Malt
Age: (2016-2020) mostly 4 years with some 3 years mixed in, so 3 years old
Maturation: 55.5% American oak, 22% French oak, 22.5% Vin Doux Naturel casks
Outturn: 9000 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


At first sniff, the nose is perkier than that of the 1.1 with less sulfur and more French sauvignon. Then come the flowers, raspberry jam and grape candy. While a yeast note remains, this reads more like newmake than wort. The palate comes off hotter than the 1.1's. It's full of sweet grapes, tart apples, and sharp peppercorns. There's some savory earthy sulfur, but not much. It gets sweeter with time. Honey, sultanas and tart apples mix with dry Oloroso in the finish.

DILUTED to ~43%abv, or 1 tsp of water per 30mL whiskey

The nose reads yeastier and more floral, some sour apple candy in the background, and (ah ha!) the first sighting of actual barley! The sweet and salty palate still has that raw edge, and the sulfur gives off a ureic note. It finishes raw and sweet, with a hint of lemon.


Despite the difference in styles and the extra few months, the 1.2 doesn't top the 1.1. It didn't take to water particularly well, and the palate reads simpler and flatter than the younger sibling's. The 1.2's finish is its strongest point when neat, and the nose works better with less sulfur, but I'm seeing less potential here than I did with the 1.1.

Tomorrow, a different farm in a different county...

Availability - 
still available throughout Europe
Pricing - all over the place
Rating - 75

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