Six things about Waterford: 1 - It’s not an Irish whisky, it’s a malt whisky made in Ireland. 2 - It’s made in Ireland because its owners believe the country has the best barley in the world. 3 - They are launching an insane number of different bottles in their first year of releases - dozens showcasing barleys from individual farms. 4 - For a barely legal whisky, it tastes remarkably and consistently good, based on my sampling of several European and US exclusives and this global release, not to mention two eminently drinkable varieties of new make. 5 - If you like the funky flavors of a good Springbank or a stinky cheese, you’ll enjoy the subtle barnyard aroma of many of the initial Waterford releases. 6 - Moreover, if you really want to sink your senses into the debate over whether barley, soil and all things “terroir” make a difference in whisky, then get yourself a selection of their single farm bottlings and compare the differences. Even the two new makes I tried were noticeably different. Of the ones I tried, my favorite of the European releases was the Ballykilcavan. It smells like a dairy farm: cream, barnyard, a hint of sulphur and soil. The palate is creamy and salty and the finish turns to sour fruit chews. The American single farm releases were slightly sweeter and for me were overshadowed by Gaia, a global release distilled from organic barley sourced from six farms rather than one. My tasting notes aren’t great, but the nose is lashings of custard, with a hint of barnyard to add complexity. The predominant flavor is creamy too, with a fizzy sherbet note. Regardless, I liked it enough to buy a bottle, which isn’t something I do often now. Whatever the method in their madness, Waterford is clearly onto something good.