The Irish distiller’s method is terroir driven and it was Hewson’s aim to celebrate the layers of complexity that this brings, as well as the sensory experience of whisky consumption.
In order to create its Single Farm Origin whiskies, Waterford maintains the integrity of each barley crop by harvesting, storing, malting, and distilling it separately. Each Single Farm Origin has been produced separately using barley grown only on individual terroirs throughout the South of Ireland.
Although the distillery believes this individuality can be celebrated in its own right, the aim is to layer the component spirits together; using the same manner as a Grand Vin in Burgundy, or Grand Cuvée in Champagne, for complexity. With this in mind, Waterford will be the first in whisky production anywhere to assemble 23 different Single Farm Origin component single malts to create what is being deemed the ‘definitive’ Waterford whisky: The Cuvée.
Hewson’s original artwork reflects the intricate nature of such a product. Two computer-generated images that are depicted in paint have been divided into strips and overlaid with opaque and transparent red and green stripes, and a neon squiggle in to create ’ambiguity and illusion’.
Hewson said: ”Binary Assimilation celebrates the many layers and complexities of Waterford’s approach to whisky production. The brand’s scientific and methodical approach reflects my own and this provided an inspiration to sync art, flavour and character into something visually striking. By building the piece in layers through colour, I was able to create new dimensional effects to match the concept of The Cuvéee.”
Mark Reynier, founder and CEO of Waterford Distillery said: “This is no ordinary whisky – it's our lodestar, a key milestone on our terroir-driven journey – our raison d'etre. Its vision, evolution derived from unprecedented logistics, merits an equally outstanding label. We commissioned one of Ireland’s leading artists, Leah Hewson, to create a contemporary image that was unlike another whisky label. One that shared the elemental construct, evoking vibrancy, a bold statement and a multi-layered feel. A label unlike any other, for a whisky unlike any other.”