It’s late Friday night, and I decided to relax by looking back on a fun little whiskey. Today we look at the Tipperary Water Shed, an NAS Irish Single Malt from Tipperary. Each of the six casks used for the Watersheds production were sourced by Stuart Nickerson, Malt Master. They do make it quite clear when chatting with them that while this is their bottle, the whiskey inside is of unknown (to us) origin. The whiskey itself is a double distilled 100% malted barley, dropped to 47% alcohol before bottling, Non-Chill Filtered, and each of the bottles are individually numbered so there is a touch of uniqueness about grabbing a bottle. This review was completed after tasting whiskey from bottle 1432 of 4200.
Oh, now that’s a nice nose. It opens on a beautiful spring day, with a good heaping of fruit salad laying in front of us and a glass of chardonnay on the side; there’s pineapple slices, good green apple, heavy on the skin, while also bringing in rambutans, lychees, nashi, peaches and pears and a good bit of canned jackfruit in the back. It’s almost like a nice Dunne’s tropical fruit salad. Everything really rounds out with touches of melon, liquorice, with a great cream and honey base that helps the whiskey come together. The nose does give us a hint that this whiskey is on the younger side, and we get touches of new make character moving through; pineapple slices, malt, copper and eucalypt. Now while it tastes young, by no means is it bad. The 47% helps to hold all the whiskey together, and I appreciate that they knew when to stop when adding the water (adding any more was a poor choice on my part).
If the nose was looking at that piling of fruit salad, the palate is sinking your teeth into it after a long day of work in the backyard; there the cuttings of the rose and lavender bushes, the freshly mown grass we took care of next to a small running creek, and buttery hay that has been scattered everywhere. Alongside that is a small bowl of gooseberries, passion fruit and kiwi fruit fresh out of the fridge, nice and crisp in flavour as well as in mouth feel. The whiskey builds over the green apples, pineapple, melon and lychee again before a medium finish that slowly tapers off, rounding out and getting thinner as it stretches out, absolutely sublime.
Now that was a good dram. I usually can’t wait for a distilleries stock to mature, but when it comes to the Watershed, wow, I really want it to stick around for a long time. Nicely balanced, great flavours, and different as well to what we’ve seen a lot of over the last few years, it was a great change of pace from the norm. Should the Watershed Whiskey be like this in the future, now that would be amazing. Oh, and I do have to say big congratulations to Jennifer Nickerson for winning Icons of Whisky Ireland, Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year 2019. Congrats, you earned it.