Waterford Distillery announces 'world-first' biodynamic whisky

Waterford Distillery announces 'world-first' biodynamic whisky

Waterford Whisky Biodynamic: Luna is second release in distillery's Arcadian series

News | 28 Jun 2021

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Ireland's Waterford Distillery has revealed the release date for a new whisky distilled exclusively with biodynamic barley.

Biodynamic: Luna – believed to be the world's first biodynamic whisky – is the second release on Waterford's Arcadian series, which investigates how historical farming and growing techniques impact the flavour of whisky. The first instalment, Organic: Gaia 1.1, was released in 2020.

The new release – set to be bottled in the summer – is the brainchild of Waterford Distillery founder and CEO Mark Reynier and marks a milestone in his efforts to bring the biodynamics of wine into the world of whisky. Originating from 20th-century Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, the idea of biodynamic agriculture assumes that each farm is its own self-sustaining organism with inherent connections between elements such as the soil, crops, animals and people, and encourages regenerative agricultural practises.

Waterford has so far distilled around 500 barrels of spirit made from local biodynamic barley. It has worked with Irish growers Trevor Harris, John McDonnell and Alan Money, who have applied biodynamic agricultural practises to their barley to meet the distillery's demand. These practises have included burying cow horns filled with manure or mineral silica in the soil, ploughing fields with horses rather than mechanical machines, and sowing barley seeds according to the position of the moon.

"Many of the world's very greatest winemakers follow biodynamic farming to produce the most exquisite flavours," explains Mark Reynier, "but nobody has released a whisky made from purely locally grown biodynamic barley – until now.

"Malt whisky is already the most complex spirit in the world thanks for the barley from which it is distilled, and with a biodynamic cultivation regime there is the ultimate opportunity to enhance its flavour. At Waterford, we are on a mission to create the most complex, unique and profound whisky, and biodynamics is the next step on that journey."
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