An Bhearú, the “bubbling" River Barrow, which was mentioned by the ancient writer Ptolemy, winds through the limestone lowlands of County Carlow. Ratheadon, Aidhne’s Fort, once home to the Lords of Idrone, stands beyond the river's east bank on rich & loamy soils. Ratheadon stands in the heartlands of the Irish malting barley industry.
The echoes of this old trade can still be seen today – the keen-eyed would note the numerous majestic old malting house buildings that line the river – indeed, were once powered by the river – with the largest malt house standing in Bagenalstown.
This early-sown barley from the superb harvest of 2015 was grown by father and son Stephen & Andrew McDonnell – third and fourth generation growers respectively – upon this unique terroir of a fertile flood plain of the River Barrow. The McDonnell family has farmed here at Ratheadon for some five decades.
This bottling, Edition 1.1, was originally intended to be an online and distillery exclusive. But at the time of launching Waterford Whisky into the world, demand greatly exceeded supply in many places – especially so in Ireland, on our home turf; so we took the decision to release 1,400 bottles to the Irish market only.
Head Distiller's Observations
Appearance: Amber to deep gold, the glass is coated with oils.
Nose: Barley, bread, earthy, orange peel, light vanilla, barnyard, berries (fruits of the forest), green leaves.
Taste: Creamy, bread crust, white pepper, soft spice, orange (reminds me of Jaffa cakes) and berries. A long-lasting orange, oily finish.