After seeing a write up on the BBC website about the Penderyn distillery, I had to ask for a sample to review. After a 100 year dry spell in Wales, Penderyn started the distilling in Wales again in 2004 and is growing by leaps and bounds every year. According to the BBC report Penderyn is tripling production for export. Good thing, too because I couldn’t find it anywhere in the Nashville, TN area. A few weeks after my initial email to Penderyn, I received a small package with two sample bottles and an email with the press kit info. Now that I have my samples, let’s get into the Penderyn Single Malt Madeira and Portwood 41 reviews!
Penderyn whiskies are aged in ex-bourbon barrels mostly sourced from Buffalo Trace, then transferred into ex-Madeira barriques (barrels). Madeira is basically the same type of wine as a Port – read more here.
Originally an experimental whisky with extremely limited production, it is now part of the general release. That being the case it will still be hard to find unless you are in France or the United Kingdom. It must be so new as a general release that they don’t have a sample bottle with an actual label. Not that I mind.
Nose: Mostly port, very sweet. Earthy with a light Juniper aroma. Add water: Muted port, more earthy slightly scotch-like, maybe Dalmore?
Taste: Sweet vanilla and fruit on the front, a little earthy with a chocolate undertone. After adding a splash of water: Actually brought the port more to the front, tasted more of the earthy and fruit, cherry?
Finish: Where the port taste really comes out, quick finish. Add water: Finish lasts a little longer – not much.
The Madeira bottle is an actual sample bottle with a simple but elegant label that looks exactly like the full bottle label. It is very classy and would be one of the bottles you keep up front in your collection.
Nose: Definite port, with some citrus, vanilla, and a vague hint of pepper. After adding water the port was muted and it opened up the spicy and sweet. I got a little floral hint at the end.
Taste: Slight bite, Floral front end, quick into spicy and sweet middle to back end. Add water: Still port, more floral and more spice…again, pepper? Even though it is 46% ABV, it doesn’t bite like you would think. It is very smooth, even before adding water.
Finish: Quick finish, spicy aftertaste. Add water: lasted a lot longer.
Penderyn Madeira receives a 9.7 out of 10 Noses! An extremely well made and balanced whisky! As the label states, this whisky is, indeed, Aur Cymru or “Welsh Gold“. Just like the Port Wood, you must try this! I would say that it is worth the extra cost to order online from the Whisky Exchange or Amazon.
Both of these whiskies would be great as after dinner pours. The port flavor isn’t overwhelming like several other port whiskies that I have had in the past. Both the Madeira and the Portwood 41 are very well balanced and complex and are strongly recommended!
Have you had any of the Penderyn expressions, and if so, what did you think? How about other after dinner pours…any suggestions? Leave comments below!