Whisky, as we know it, mostly comes from Scotland. Admittedly, there are also whisky from England and whiskey from Ireland. However, do you know that Wales, the last country to make up the United Kingdom, also produces whisky? Yes, there is liquid gold from Wales! Allow us to introduce Penderyn to you, the Welsh Gold that has newly entered Singapore via the good works of Spirits Castle Pte Ltd, the sole distributor of Penderyn.
The Penderyn Story
Wales, England – 1894
The closure of the last whisky distillery in Wales was a major shock to the Welsh, and the impact to their pride was significant. The people of Wales despaired over the loss and that loss lasted for more than a century. Wales became a “dry country” with no one having the capacity or ability to start a new whisky distillery.
Wales, England – Late 1990s
A group of whisky enthusiasts met for a catch-up session in a local pub. One of them began to sell the idea of a risen Phoenix from the ashes and intrigued his friends with the idea of building a Welsh whisky distillery in the historic town of Penderyn. It was also the perfect chance to market Welsh whisky as the new Welsh Gold due to the pending closure of Wales’ last gold mine.
The plans went ahead and the authorities approved the license of the distillery two months after the last gold mine closed. Penderyn distillery was built in Brecons Beacons National Park because of its supply of fresh, natural spring water. The owners also gained access to a unique copper single-pot still designed by Dr David Faraday. The still ran the first time in 2000, and Penderyn distillery was officially established on 1 March 2004.
Penderyn Single Malt Whisky – Present Day
Penderyn distillery started out with the Madeira-Finish that becomes their house style. Over time, Head Distiller, Aista Jukneviciute, who trained under the tutelage of Dr Jim Swan, experimented with different casks. She and her team built up the range of single malts available over the years, growing from one to eight core expressions.
Penderyn Dragon Range
The Dragon Range is denoted by the dragon on the labels. It has three different expressions with fantastical names: Legend, Myth and Celt. The range celebrates everything Welsh, from the dragon on the label that is taken from the Welsh flag, to the names that speaks of Welsh mythical stories.
The Taste of the Dragons
‘Legend’ mirrors the house style of Penderyn’s signature single malt, with maturation in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in Madeira casks. ‘Myth’ is an ex-bourbon matured whisky that is finished in red wine casks. Finally, ‘Celt’ is a lightly peated expression that is finished in ex-Islay casks.
Each expression showcases the sweet pears and banana notes that are characteristics of Penderyn Distillery, with a slight twist in the flavours due to the different cask finishes.
Penderyn Gold Range
The Gold Range boasts of five different expressions: Penderyn Madeira-Finish, Penderyn Sherrywood, Penderyn Rich Oak, Penderyn Portwood & Penderyn Peated. Housed in a bespoke glass bottle, the Gold Range represents the replacement of the precious Welsh Gold.
1. Penderyn Madeira-Finish
Penderyn Madeira-Finish is the distillery’s brain-child as it is the first whisky that the distillery launched in 2004. It is an ex-bourbon matured whisky finished in Madeira casks. Showcasing the classic Penderyn notes of sweet pears and bananas, the whisky is light and mellow.
2. Penderyn Sherrywood
Penderyn Sherrywood is popular because of its flavours. Vatted from 70% ex-bourbon matured whisky and 30% ex-sherry matured whisky, it holds the perfect notes for many whisky lovers. Boasting raisins, chocolates and sweet candy at first, the whisky will begin to exhibit notes of pears, bananas and vanilla cream as it opens up. Penderyn Sherrywood is balanced and holds the sweet spot for many.
3. Penderyn Rich Oak
Penderyn Rich Oak is the newest addition to the Gold Range family. Originally marketed as a 50% small batch whisky, the distillery decided to release a 46% expression and added it to the Gold Range only in 2018. The Rich Oak has been popular ever since its launch, largely due to its robust chocolate and sweet candy notes. Matured in ex-bourbon and finished in red wine casks, the Rich Oak is a flavourful whisky for most drinkers.
4. Penderyn Portwood
Penderyn Portwood is the luxurious version of the Sherrywood and Rich Oak. Combining the powers of 50% ex-bourbon matured whisky and 50% ex-Ruby Port matured whisky, the Penderyn Portwood is the epitome of a sweet dessert whisky. Boasting of dark raisins, milk chocolate, boiled candies and perhaps the touch of honey and caramel, the desiccant whisky is popular for its sweetness.
5. Penderyn Peated
Finally, the Penderyn Peated is the peated version that is made with the help of ex-Islay casks. It is lightly peated with sweet pears and bananas notes. The expression came about due to an honest mistake made by a staff at the distillery. He purchased the wrong casks and by the time the error was discovered, the whisky was almost ready for bottling. As a last resort, the distillery bottled it and called it a special release. The reaction from the local and export market was unexpected and due to its popularity, the Penderyn Peated is now part of the core expressions under the Gold Range.
Interesting Ways to Drink Penderyn
Mix them up with tea! It taste amazing and give your tea a little perk too.
Drink them while eating dark chocolates!
- Food Pairing: There are many ways to pair Penderyn with food, but we have found that it works wonder with Chinese food and Indian food. Penderyn is sweet and light, which brings out the flavours of the Chinese food superbly and it tones down the spiciness of Indian food beautifully.
Purchase Penderyn Single Malt Whisky at Cellarbration
Cellarbration currently holds the full exquisite range of Penderyn single malt whiskies (except Penderyn Peated) that is available in all 7 retail outlets & their online store.
Cellarbration is also the official store to order these whiskies during the World Gourmet Summit (WGS) 2019! As the official partner for Spirits Castle during the WGS 2019, all commercial pre-orders made during WGS 2019 will be fulfilled by Cellarbration.
Shop now: https://www.cellarbration.com.sg
Store locations: https://www.cellarbration.com.sg/our-stores