The Waterford Rathclogh 1.1 begins with slightly fermented pickled raw pistachios–or maybe daikon radish with a jicama garnish plated next to pickling spices–hard to say which. The nose also presents with a woody note that’s really more of a reedy note. Imagine putting the pan pipes St. Patrick used to charm the snakes up to your lips. What’s that? He didn’t Piety Piper them out of Ireland? OK, fine. Then perhaps it’s the smell of a very blond ash wood inlay belonging to the saint that drove the BMW out of Connecticut. What’s that, you say? There are no saints in Connecticut? C’mon, that’s harsh. But I will grant that one in a BMW is a stretch. And just to muck with any hint of thematic unity this paragraph may have had, there are also notes of lacquered magnolia buds on the nose.
The first note on the mouth is simultaneously metallic and replete with tarragon. The acetone-y green note that only John got on the nose is clear to all of us on the mouth. The wood hasn’t gotten this one quite there yet. Unless by “there” you mean a circuit board doused in downspout water.
The finish, however, is much more interesting: it’s like chewing on the outside of a pineapple that has been fashioned into oven mitts. It’s somewhere between grassy and woody.
[Bill: Which would basically be reedy.]
Fine. It’s reedy. Reedy as a sound, though, too. Maybe even reedy as would describe a person, which is perhaps somewhat more redemptive than John would like to grant. But it is utterly striking how these different farm expressions from Waterford can be so distinct from one another, based more or less entirely on where the grain was grown [See our other Waterford reviews, and our review of the Organic Gaia, coming soon to a Malt Impostor site near you].
On the scale of virtuoso reed instrument performances–
The Waterford Rathclogh 1.1 is this iconic one–The hat. The angle. The contrast with his mother’s comments to the school. The cooly nerdy exuberance of “Never had one lesson!” It all combines to make for a performance that I think of more often than I think of particular works of many jazz greats.
–Our thanks to Raj Sabharwal and Glass Revolution Imports for the sample!