When I visited the Schlumberger booth at Bottle Market 2019 in Bremen, I spent most of the time talking to Penderyn’s Brand Ambassador for Germamy, Bastian Denkler. I first met him in Kiel a few months earlier and we stayed in contact since then. Our main topic at Bottle Market: all the things that had changed in Bastian’s life after he made the step from managing a kindergarden to representing Penderyn Whisky full-time – a gig he took over in April 2019. According to Bastian it has been a fast, wild ride so far. But he loved every crazy second of it! The same is valid for me in another Penderyn-related matter: Cause I also loved every second I spent with the three samples I got from Bastian at the end of our talk, namely Penderyn Rhiannon, Penderyn 11yo ex-Scotch Cask and Penderyn 6yo Tawny Port Cask. The three impressions are quite different from each other, but unified by the fact that they all embody the distillery’s light, smooth and elegant house style. There is some really wonderful whisky coming from Wales these days, without a doubt!
Penderyn Rhiannon (Icons of Wales #7)
(Limited Edition • Sherrywood Grand Cru finish • 46% • ? bottles)
The seventh part of Penderyn’s “Icons of Wales” series is dedicated to an ancient Welsh goddess called Rhiannon. As she is the patroness of horses, we see her riding a black stallion on the label. But what is she like when she leaves the bottle? Let’s find out: While Rhiannon elegantly trots through my nostrils, she leaves behind fine fragrances of apple puree and marzipan. Other scents are sweet vanilla sauce, sugared berry jam and toasted bread with molten butter. The mouthfeel is very much on the light side – yet the whisky is full of flavor. It offers purple grapes, elder-flower juice, honeydew melon and also something summery and flowery. The smooth finish is mid-long and gentle. It has cassis, redcurrant and a splash of lemon squeeze. Also old velvet cushions. This limited edition is as lean and elegant a whisky as it gets. It is primarily fresh and fruity, but it also offers a few heavier notes that add stature and complexity – well done, Penderyn! This is a beautiful offering!
Penderyn 11yo ex-Scotch Cask (German Selection by Schlumberger)
(Single Cask • ex-Scotch cask • 59.5% • 163 bottles)
You don’t stumble upon an 11-year-old Penderyn too often. After all, the Welsh distillery has only been up to its tricks for 15 years. So this single cask bottling, which spent its full maturation time in an unspecified ex-Scotch barrel, is among the oldest Penderyns you will find on the market at the moment. Its high ABV of 59.5 per cent is only noticeable on the tube and label – in the nose and on the tongue, the whisky appears really soft and tender. In a blind tasting I would not have guessed that it had so much power. The bouquet has clover, beeswax and orange jelly on warm croissants. In the mouth, the spirit feels like liquid honey cake! It delights with notes of brittle, cherry, raisin, orange and wine gum. As there is no smoke in this dram at all, I think I can at least say that it was not kept in a Talisker cask – let alone an Islay one. The grand finale is delicate, savory and finger-licking good. There’s bucket-loads of gooey honey, mellow camomile and sweet pineapple in it. Absolutely delicious!
Penderyn 6yo Tawny Port Cask (German Selection by Schlumberger)
(Single Cask • Tawny Port • 59.8% • 726 bottles)
The first thing that struck me about Penderyn’s 6-year-old Tawny Port Cask is the stunning reddish color. The active wood painted a real work of art onto the new make’s translucent canvas – wow! But the eyes are not the only sensory organ in for a treat. To the nose, the whisky presents itself neat and graceful with a lot of plums, strawberries, cherries, dark grapes and blood oranges. It also has Christmas cake, rum truffles and a wee bit of red cough candy freshness. The first sip is really refreshing. With time, the spirit turns milkier. At any stage of the degustation, it remains incredibly fruity! First and foremost, I get sugared redcurrants, strawberries and cherries. Also fluffy cream and citrus spritz. The delicate finish has both juicy fruits and milk chocolate. It reminds me of those skewered, chocolate-coated grapes you get at a fun fair. Here and there, the youthfulness makes itself known, but not in a harsh way: The alcohol is wonderfully interwoven and the spirit is extremely clean and mellow. Without exaggeration: The new Penderyn 6yo Tawny Port Cask is a super star of the current single cask circuit!
Penderyn Rhiannon (Single Malt / Wales/ NAS / Sherrywood Grand Cru / 46% / ~65 Euro)
Penderyn 11yo ex-Scotch Cask (Single Malt / Wales / 11yo / ex-Scotch cask / 59.5% / ~95 Euro)
Penderyn 6yo Tawny Port (Single Malt / Wales / 6yo / Tawny port cask / 59.8% / ~70 Euro)
Penderyn @ Web: http://penderyn.wales/ (Distillery)
Penderyn Deutschland @ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PenderynDE/ (Distillery)
Schlumberger @ Web: https://www.schlumberger.de/ (German Importer)
*** Whisky samples kindly provided by Schlumberger ***