Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

Waterford Cuvée Koffi: wonderful summery freshness

The Waterford Distillery is situated in the Irish town of the same name, but for all intends and purposes it could easily have been a Scottish town. It is “single malt”, and written as “whisky” without the ‘e’ there. Tastes a bit more substantial than regular Irish Whiskey too, does it not? In any way, Waterford brings a great challenge to the table of single malt whisky, because it keeps on scoring homerun after homerun, no matter who their up against. I dare say, it is one of my favorite new distilleries out there. Innovative concepts, lots of focus on terroir for terroir’s sake, not just to say “this whisky matured next to the sea (meaning: in a Glasgow warehouse on industrial estate).”

Cuvée means that the makeup consists of a variety of terroir driven productions. The new Cuvée Koffi is one of the oldest Waterford expressions I got to taste. Here goes.

Waterford Cuvée Koffi, bottled at 50 % abv

Makeup: Bottled almost exactly one year ago, on 18 July 2023, and made up out of First Fill and Virgin US oak, French oak, Vin Doux Naturel.

General impressions: Interestingly enough, this is instantly recognisable as Waterford whisky. It has this barley fresh nose, covered in sweets from the good ol’ Soda Shoppe. “Look at all the pretty candy!” Keep this whisky away from your kids, they will go for it. I applaud the focus on barley here, there are few brands that so vividly embrace the core product of whisky. And somehow, Waterford has managed to make their whisky stand up to the heavy cask influences like virgin oak. I am deeply impressed here. The wood smoke is an asset, and all assets play together nicely.

Well, you do feel the oak overdose on the tongue, but I am not at all bothered by it. Maybe because the balance on the palate is just outstanding. Lots of tropical, juicy fruit flavours coming from the distillate, dancing in the summer sun with the maturation influences. A very clean exit shows signs of improving maturation. This might be the biggest departure from previous expressions, some of the youthful harshness has been pushed further back.

Conclusion: If you are into fresh, clean, fruity MALT whisky, this is your go-to bottle. Really an excellent effort again by the good people in Waterford. Don’t add water, the strength is perfectly right as it is.

Score: 89 points
(Thanks for the sample, Robbert)

Got a question about this whisky? Or do you just want to say something about it? There is a contactform on the bottom of this page!  

Share this on your social media! - and check mine while you're at it :)