Since Penderyn originally launched their Madeira cask aged whisky as their core release, its Sherrywood sibling has never been too far behind.
The Sherrywood release sits within Penderyn’s Welsh Gold or “Aur Cymru” range. [ed: Look out for the little AC nods and references within their packaging!]
Welsh Gold is extremely rare and precious and was worn by legendary Welsh princes. These qualities are shared by our Gold collection of premium strength whiskies.Penderyn Welsh Gold / Aur Cymru
This single malt Welsh whisky features a combination of Penderyn spirit that has been solely matured in ex-bourbon casks from Buffalo trace, along with Penderyn spirit that has solely been matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. The liquids are then melded together to meet the desired profile, without age statement, and then bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration or artificial colouring.
I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m getting more of the wood notes that the sherry ones here. It has quite a dusty oak smell to it. There’s some good fruity flavours supporting the oak mantle too. Thanks to Alistair of @SpiritAndWood I get a good jammy dodger flavour – both the sticky sweet strawberry jam and the crumbly biscuit base flavours.
Continuing the biscuit theme, there is a distinct taste of malted milk biscuits when this hits the lips. The whisky is light on the tongue and has an underlying vanilla flavour with little bursts of strawberry jam, raisins, and warming oak spices which pop out along the way. This might be sacrilege but I think I’m describing an English afternoon tea of scones, jam, and cream coming from this Welsh spirit. The oak’s spices quickly ramp up though and quash that image, and the sherry is showing its hand a lot more than it was on the nose.
All the oak spice and sugary/jammy sweetness fizzle away and it reverts back to the whisky’s spirit origins, even leaving behind a little menthol cleanliness or even a metallic taste.
A fairly light and satisfying whisky. I think that you need to spend a good bit of time with this sherrywood to decipher and appreciate its full flavours. The sherry and wood elements are definitely there.
Penderyn sells a miniature tasting pack, which contains this Sherrywood release, and I think that you really get to appreciate the difference between the whiskies when you try them side by side. You can recognise the base malt’s character, and how the different casks affect it. I think it would be great to see the full Gold series in one of these 5cl sample packs, adding in the Rick Oak and Portwood releases. Better still, they could repeat what they have done with the Dragon series, which has 3x 20cl bottles available featuring the Celt, Myth, and Legend releases. I would love to see and, more importantly, drink that.
The colour of the malt did not suggest that it was going to be a sherry bomb by any stretch, but its sherry oak components certainly play their part in making an imprint on the Welsh whiskymaker’s single malt base profile. It is a tempered malt, for sure. The Penderyn signature flavours are all there – including that high ester-y spirit flavour – but with more of a red fruit profile. On balance, the sherry casks leave more of an influence rather than taking centre stage. A good sipper and exploration of the Penderyn signature malt.
Sample disclosure: I have tasted this whisky on numerous occasions, and have compiled the tasting notes from my own purchases as well as miniatures received some as a gift from family and as part of a Tweet Tasting. All notes are intended as an honest, fair, and independent review of the whisky, and not as a promotion. Please drink responsibly. Please drink wisely.