Teagasc has published a peer-reviewed paper that showed “conclusive proof of terroir’s influence on whisky”.
‘Terroir’ is a term used to describe how the environment surrounding a crop can affect its physical expression and is commonly used in wine and cognac.
To give an example of the effect of Terroir in whiskey, if a crop of spring barley used for whiskey production is grown near the sea, whiskey tasters may detect hints of sea salt in the final product.
Waterford Whisky has embraced the concept placing a ‘Téireoir’ code on its bottles which can be scanned for details of the crop’s production including location, soil type and agronomic management of the crop.
Critics claimed any terroir effect would be destroyed by the whiskey-making process
Waterford Whisky currently produces single-origin whiskey meaning that it distils whiskey which can be traced from field to bottle.
Founder of Waterford Distillery Mark Reynier stated: “Barley is what makes single-malt whiskey the most flavoursome spirit in the world.
This study proves that barley’s flavours are influenced by where it is grown, meaning – like wine and cognac – whiskey’s taste is terroir-driven.”
“Critics claimed any terroir effect would be destroyed by the whiskey-making process, saying there is no scientific evidence to prove that terroir even exists. Well, there is now.”