The Arcadian Series represents our otherworldly garden of delights. We sought out maverick farmers, inspirational growers, iconoclasts whose ethos & way of life respects the land & the old ways in the pursuit of pure flavours over yield imperatives. Gaia, the neopagan goddess of yore, a personification of Mother Earth herself, is a fitting custodian to bring forth Ireland's first whisky distilled from certified organic Irish barley.
John Mallick, Paddy Tobin, Alan Jackson, Pat and Denis Booth, Jason Stanley and Trevor Harris rose to the challenge laid down by us to produce the first Irish-grown organic malting barley. Given the low yielding of organic barley, it is important to note that we combined these crops together as one batch prior to distillation.
When we started the organic project in 2015, the volumes of Irish organic malting barley from any one farm were so small there was no possibility of distilling them as a Single Farm Origin. We took all we could get our hands on to arrive at the minimum useable volume for the maltings. In the years to come we will have we have organic Single Farm Origins to release in the years to come.
We find it bemusing that much of the industry treats with indifference the primary source of single malt whisky’s extraordinary flavour: barley. We have placed barley – where and how it is grown – at the heart of what we do, curious about where the real whisky flavour may be found. A natural progression of this philosophy is to see what not only single farm origins can accomplish but what organically grown barley can do when it is given the right platform. Compliance for organic status is not straight forward by any means – there’ s a shed load of hoops to jump through, deep cleaning regimens, audits and assessments to undergo.
So, is it worth it? We certainly think so, what we lose in yield and hair pulling we gain in purity and definition of flavour. We’re not playing at it; we lay down 400 to 600 casks of organic spirit a year, we buy all the Irish grown organic malting barley that can get our hands on.
Head Distiller's Observations
Appearance: Deep copper, with unctuous oils – and legs as slow as mine if I made it to mile 26 of a marathon.
Nose: A rose bed after a summer shower, white pepper, rhubarb tart, salted caramel, popcorn, fudge, marshmallows, cherries, vine tomatoes.
Taste: White pepper, orange zest, almond, dates, lemon sherbet, liquorice, gentle maltiness and warm chocolate brownie.
Finish: Warm spices that gently goes to leave a cherry biscuit note.