Category Archives: Welsh whisky

W for Welsh Whisky

World Whisky Day is fast approaching on Saturday the 19th May 2018.

As part of the build up I’m featuring a series of blogs – both old and new – over the next month focusing on a country from each letter of the alphabet – if possible – that makes whisky.

Today is W for Wales.

For a lot of folks Wales would be better known for Tom Jones, Daffodils, coal and towns with long names like Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch!

It also happens to do some lovely whisky.

And there’s enough to ‘Burn Down The House’! Cue Tom Jones.

Penderyn Whisky was launched in 2004. It has grown to produce a wide variety of single malts which have gathered much acclaim.

My entry into Penderyn was via their initial Icons Of Wales offering – Red Flag.

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A good whisky doesn’t last for long! c/othewhiskeynut

Naming a bottle remembering the first time a red flag was raised in social protest – which happened to be in Wales – I found a rather brave move. Many whiskies celebrate royalty – so Penderyn Red Flag was a break from the normal and attracted my attention.

Bottled at 41%, non chill-filtered with no added caramel is a bonus to begin with.

Matured in ex-bourbon casks & finished in madeira barrels this single malt was a very easy & pleasant drinker.  Some sweetness from the madeira mixed well with the slight spice & vanilla from the charred bourbon casks.

I was keen to try more from Penderyn.

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Penderyn Rich Oak c/othewhiskeynut

A chance encounter with Penderyn Rich Oak Limited Edition at a whisky show didn’t stand out for me at the event. Perhaps being swamped with great tasting whiskies means only the strongest flavours stand out & maybe a more muted beauty gets lost in the mix.

Who knows.

What I do know is I’ll be looking forward to trying out more expressions from this expanding Welsh distillery.

Sláinte.

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Was St Patrick Welsh? This Whisky Is!

Coming on the back of St Patrick’s Day it’s often amusing to point out that the man himself wasn’t actually Irish!

St Patrick c/o irishhistorypodcast.ie
St Patrick c/o irishhistorypodcast.ie

Controversy still reigns as to his actual birthplace. Some say Scotland, some say France and some say Wales. What is clear is that he certainly visited these countries during his lifetime. What is also interesting for the sake of this blog is that all these countries are whisky producers!

Scotch Whisky is firmly Numero Uno in the whisky world. French Whisky is a relative newcomer but has many exciting brands and expressions. This humble blogger has tried a few which were grand. The Champagne finished single malt from Guillon Distillery being one of them. Welsh Whisky is also a relative newcomer to the scene – despite a rich distilling history in Wales, there is only one distillery in operation today. A fine distillery it is too!

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My first entry into the Welsh Whisky world came via it’s wonderfully named Red Flag expression. Now, many Irish whiskeys are named after places as in; Kilbeggan, Greenore, Slane Castle, Glendalough and Nephin for starters. In Scotland, many whiskies take the names of royalty, or at least the well heeled, to bask in the exclusivity or prestige associated as in; Imperial, Royal Lochnagar, Chivas Regal, Chequers and King Of Scots. Penderyn Distillery has bucked all that to name it’s first Icon Of Wales bottling after a workers uprising in 1831 where the red flag was raised as a symbol of protest. Very refreshing indeed!

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The whisky itself lives up to the heroic struggles of it’s namesake. A single malt finished in madeira casks bottled non chill-filtered at 41%, it gives a very rich aroma backed up by a satisfying taste a with long finish. Definitely an A class whiskey, if not A+ in my book! As this whisky is a limited expression, it may sell out, but Penderyn release a single malt madeira finish in their standard range bottled at 46% which may also be very good. I can’t wait to taste the other bottles which include sherrywood finish, peated and single cask expressions. Penderyn have already won awards since launching in 2004 so this is a distillery to watch out for.

Whiskey Nut

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