Waterford Gaia 1.1 Review

The last in the USA releases is the Waterford Gaia 1.1 and unlike the Dunbell, Dunmore or Rathclogh this is not from a single farm – this is signified by it having a blue top instead of a yellow/amber one. Part of the Arcadian series, the Organic Gaia release is the youngest of the releases and is a blend of barley from six different farms.

Waterford Gaia 1.1 Review

Gaia is more akin to a traditionally made single malt where the grain comes from many different farms and gets blended together somewhere along the process. The biggest difference here is that the grain is sourced wholly from organic farms in Ireland making this the world’s first organic Irish Whiskey. Which sounds interesting and I’m excited to dive into it, but before we do I need to make a quick clarification.

This is not a USA only release like the others we’ve gone through. This is a global release that’s available in the USA… and now on to the whiskey.


Waterford Gaia 1.1 – Details and Tasting Notes


Whiskey Details

Region: Ireland

Distiller: Waterford
Mash Bill: 100% Malted barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon, French Oak, Virgin Oak, ex-Wine (various)
Age: 3 Years, 9 M, 20 D
ABV: 50%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Batch: 1.1
Bottles: 24,000
Code: OR01E01-01

Price: $110*

White background tasting shot with the Waterford Gaia 1.1 bottle and a glass of whiskey next to it.
“HEAD DISTILLER’S OBSERVATIONS: Appearance: golden honey with viscous oils, and legs that if you had 40 winks, you still wouldn’t see the legs at the end of the glass. Nose: orange zest, malty figs, seaweed, hay in the field after light rain, salted caramel, peppermint, rosewater, freshly turned soil. Taste: heat and zesty pepper on the tongue, cloves, figs, oiliness that dries in the mouth, cherries, butterscotch, pears, malty, layers of spice. Finish: long and zesty oiliness that dries, but leaves you chewing; a sweetness that comes right at the end.” – Waterford

Tasting Notes


Buttercream frosting, orchard fruit, honey, malt, smarties, melon rind and toffee.

Banana taffy, buttercream frosting, toffee, apples, spice and honied nuts with some melon, raw malt and citrus.

Medium -> Farmy malt, banana chips and honey.

Great balance, medium body and soft feel.

Waterford Gaia 1.1 – Overall
Aroma is waxy with a strong buttery frosting note paired with a strong note of apples and that same Farmer’s Market aroma I got in the Rathclogh with tinges of toffee and notes of minerality; Palate has the Malt showing up heavily and starts to remind me of my beloved Roughstock but not as complex; Finish holds the true promise of what this will become with age and maturity and hits a nice pace of earthy/farmy, sweet and fruity.

I’m liking what’s happening here. Of all the Waterford releases this could be the one worth the asking price in just another couple years as the richness and depth increases. The profile is great, now I just need it hit that part of me that lights up and says “yes… this” when I try something amazing.

Waterford Gaia 1.1 – Final Thoughts and Score

Hands down this is my favorite of the four, but it’s still not mind-blowing by any means. Though it is an utterly astounding start… seriously. I don’t know any other distillery that’s put out something this young, this fast, and had it taste nearly this good. It’s a monumental achievement and I don’t want to undercut that fact at all. In fact, if I gave out 1/4 stars I’d lob this in at a 2.75, but since I keep it all in .5 increments, it’s keeping the 2.5. I never round up.

Waterford Gaia 1.1 has the most complex and interesting notes and profiles and is the most evenly balanced and warm of the group which makes it the most inviting all around. If there’s just one of these to put on your “definitely need to try this list” it would be this one.

SCORE: 2.5/5

*Disclosure: The bottle for this Irish Whiskey review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

Waterford Gaia 1.1 Back Label

Waterford Gaia 1.1 Review


This is decent… almost good. It’s richer, more flavorful and more robust than the others. Though it also has more barrels in plat than the others and also more grain sources so…


  • Nose


  • Palate


  • Finish


  • BBF



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