It has been a while since we tried a new Waterford. Well, it’s not exactly new, Micro Cuvée ‘Der Wanderer’ was released last year as a German exclusive (via Kirsch Import).
Waterford Micro Cuvée ‘Der Wanderer’ is a combination of different terroirs and cask types. VDN casks (Sauternes apparently) and virgin oak casks, as well as smaller amounts of first fill bourbon barrels and French oak casks. Part of the composition is peated malt from Fenniscourt farm.
Waterford Micro Cuvée – Der Wanderer 3 yo (50%, OB 2022, 1200 btl.)
Nose: mild hints of sourbread, nougat and citrus. Grain biscuits and red apples, alongside freshly cut herbs. Pear and a hint of banana sweetness in the background. Then a very light caramelly note, as well as a subtle dusty quality and a hint of paraffin. This is really good – intense and perhaps more classical than most of the micro terroir bottlings. I’m getting hints of modern Bruichladdich production, is that possible?
Mouth: really, this reminds me of Bruichladdich’s Ten at times. There’s this oily character, bursting with creamy malt while offering a pleasant sweetness (melons, apples, bananas) and nougat. Roasted bread appears, as well as cardamom. Then earthy minerals (perhaps a little smoke, but not much) and clove. Gingery spice towards the end.
Finish: long, returning to savoury and coastal notes, bread and lightly caramelized nuts.
I find that complexity is always higher in these Cuvées, as well as drinkability. Single farm bottlings are interesting but down the line this is probably what makes a core range. Good stuff, especially considering the age. Still available in a couple of German stores.