David Walsh-Kemis’s Ballykilcaven farm is ideal for growing grain – sheltered by forest and with a rich clay loam soil. The 2015 harvest of Taberna barley went into making this whisky and won David Waterford’s Top Barley Grower award.
Sharp stewed apples and unripe pears to start, with zesty orange and lemon peel following, muddled to release their pungent citrus oils. Farmyard straw, freshly crushed grain and allspice notes develop. Sweet cream and gentle vanilla is quickly swamped by the fruit from the nose – orchards and citrus groves in spades. The allspice returns, accompanied by buttery digestive biscuits, cinnamon heat and caraway seed. Dark and oaky spice sits at the back with hints of black liquorice. Apples laid out on hay bales, more biscuits and damp oak. A punchy, spicy whisky, with layers of orchard fruit and lots of zesty citrus.