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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Waterford Ballymorgan 1.1 Irish Single Malt

The Ballykilcavan (1.1 and 1.2) whiskies followed the narrative I set out in this week's introduction: extremely young whiskies and French casks forced upon Irish terroir. Please let me be proven wrong this week!

This Ballymorgan's barley — Overture strain — comes from Robert Milne's farm in County Wexford. The whisky's cask mix is different than the Ballykilcavans', and the Vin Doux Naturel is actually Oloroso per the official site.

Let's see if they can wrastle some ballyhoo out of baby Ballymorgan.

Distillery: Waterford
Owner: Renegade Spirits
Region: Waterford, Ireland
Type: Single Malt
Barley strain: Overture
Age: 3 years old (2016-2020)
Maturation: 37% first-fill Jack Daniels, 18% new American oak, 27% French oak, 18% Oloroso casks
Outturn: 9000 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


A bit raw, the nose has a combo of barley, peaches and a floral hard cider that works well. Hints of grapefruit and ocean stay in the background. The palate is hot and sweet, with fresh berries, dried currants, flowers and grape jam. Hints of metal and dried leaves offer some angles. That metallic note, specifically iron/blood takes front stage in the finish, with notes of chile oil and grape jam in the back.

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

Apples, lots of apples, in the nose, along with orange gummy bears and a whisper of sulfur. More citrus and berries in the palate. It's still raw, but very approachable. The apples return for the finish, with some blackberries and much less iron.


Despite its potentially grim cask combination, Ballymorgan 1.1 is a step ahead of both Ballykilcavans, but the neat finish falls far short of the rest of its parts. The whiskey also takes to water better than the Ballykilcavans, so it's probably a good idea this wasn't released at cask strength. As much as I appreciate the whisky, it still feels very par-baked. If Ballymorgan ever has a 6-8 year old release, that doesn't cost €150+, then I'd consider buying it blindly.

Availability - still available throughout Europe
Pricing - all over the place
Rating - 78