Dan (dan_the_tax_man) wrote,

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Whisky Review: Penderyn & Welsh Cakes

Meg took Rowan out for a girls day at the spa and to do some shopping, and I curled up with a book (I re-read Rob Grant's Incompetence) and a small glass of Penderyn Single Malt (Madeira Finish; 750ml; bottled in 2010; unfortunately it has been discontinued by the LCBO, although they do continue to carry other Penderyn products, such as the Penderyn 41 and the Penderyn Sherry Finish).  The bottle was a gift from Meg's parents at Christmas, they having decided to assist me with my new-found obsession, and being of Welsh ancestry, thought that a Welsh whisky would be appropriate.  The truth of the matter is that Bill was supposed to have brought the bottle as his contribution to our Scotch Tasting Party in early December, but once they'd decided to join us for Christmas, they opted out of making two trips to our place in December (I don't blame them, its a five-hour drive), so he brought it as a Christmas present.  There was, of course, a condition attached to the gift, which was that I had to pour Bill a glass.  So, Bill and I sampled the Penderyn over the holidays, along with some Welsh Cakes that they'd brought with them.

The Penderyn was nice, as were the Welsh Cakes, although since Meg's grandmother died, Bill has had to make his own Welsh Cakes, and while his are good, they've been disappointingly consistent (both in taste and shape): his mother never made them the same way twice, and it was always a gamble as to whether they were going to be divine or horribly dry and crumbly.  So, after three glasses of Penderyn (one with Bill, one with Jeff, and one on my own), what are my impressions?


While the Penderyn is pretty decent, as I mentioned earlier, it isn't mind-blowingly great.  It is a young whisky (the lack of an age statement means that it is likely somewhere between five and seven years old, as people seem to start putting age statements on their expressions when the whisky gets to around eight years old), and it is very, very light.  There are fruits in the nose (melons, lots of melons, and some green apple), along with something vaguely earthy and sharp that I can't quite put my finger on.  This earthy scent levels out after a while and becomes a very light vanilla, but it is not unpleasant.  It is likewise easy on the palate, very light and fruity, and just a touch thin, despite being bottled at 46% ABV, with a slight trace of the earthy sharpness (still can't place it though).  In retrospect it is like a slightly less mature Glenfiddich 12 year-old.  Is it good?  Its OK.  It isn't bad, but as I noted above, it isn't great; I don't think that it will be something I reach for on a regular basis.  On Saint David's Day as an aperitif?  Yes.  With Welsh Cakes?  Yes.  In the summer?  Quite probably.

For some other thoughts on Penderyn, you can check out Scotch Hobbyist, Whisky for Everyone WhiskyFun, or The Malt Imposter.  I do, however, have one final criticism...the height of the bottle.  Penderyn's packaging is classy, and the bottle looks really good in the sleek, black, open-sided box with the gold lettering (in Welsh on one side and English on the other and not a word of French to be found), but the bottle is just too tall to fit on my shelf.  Standard-sized 750ml whisky bottles (such as those used for Talisker, Lagavulin, etc.) fit quite nicely, and while I can squeeze a Glenmorangie bottle onto the shelf (it has to go in front as it won't fit under the lip at the back), the Penderyn bottle is taller still (as are those used by Compass Box), and doesn't fit at all.
Tags: penderyn, smw, whisky review

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