Penderyn – Myth
In 2015, Penderyn expanded their core output of whiskies with a brand new range of releases, aimed at the more affordable single malt whisky market. The Penderyn “Myth” sits within this “Dragon” series of expressions , alongside its no-age-statement bedfellows “Legend” and “Celt”. The three releases have all been bottled at 41% ABV and feature the Welsh spirit having been matured in different cask finishes. This “Myth” release has been aged “in a range of specially selected ex-red wine and ex-bourbon casks” and comes in at roughly £35 RRP.
M: Quite a piercing alco-burn on the nose to begin with. Once that subsides there’s a syrupy sweet smell to the whisky. A bit more time and there is vanilla, red fruits and cake-like flavours all present – basically like a Victoria sponge! A little soapy/perfumed at the end though.
M: Woody flavours up front and then sweetness spreads. Dark sugars this time though. I’m thinking more in the realms of a sticky toffee pudding, with dark fruits and a little cakey spice. Marsala wine on the close.
M: Oh, this dram warms you up from the inside out, for sure. Almost too much. A bit heartburn-y but those sweet flavours linger to even it out.
M: Well, I can’t blame Penderyn for exploiting their main USP in the whisky world here: being Welsh. And it doesn’t get much more Welsh than having the national flag’s dragon emblazoned across the packaging and the blurb embellishing on nation’s proud history and patriotism. Given my previous experiences across the years however with the Penderyn Madeira, I was a bit tentative going into this but still hoping for bigger and better things from the Dragon series. I’ve read that the Penderyn Legend is essentially the same liquid as the Madeira finish release but watered down to 41% ABV. This is probably a good thing as I thought that the full Madeira, at 46% ABV, needed a fair bit of harnessing with water – proving to be a fine balance to avoid adding so much water as to kill it. A few years ago I tried a Penderyn “41” expression which I remember liking much more than the Madeira, and I’m not sure if that expression is now replicated as the Myth or the Legend (Celt is a peated expression), but either way, this Penderyn Myth has been a better dramming experience in my book. A lighter dram by colour and body but with some heavy hitting flavours still amongst the melee. A touch of water helps again, as it still has that youthful power and burn but the sweet, fruity and woody elements are far more noticeable and appreciable here.
Categories: Penderyn, Tasting Notes
Tags: Celt, Dragon, Legend, Madeira, Myth, Penderyn, Single Malt, Single Malt Whisky, Wales, Welsh, Welsh Whisky, whisky
Penderyn – Madeira
Penderyn is the brand name of the only single malt whisky currently made in Wales (formerly known as The Welsh Whisky Company). Based in the beautiful landscape of the Brecon Beacons, the distillery has been making whisky since 2001 and has since expanded its repertoire to include their own vodka, gin and even whisky cream liqueur. To the matter at hand though, and it’s the distillery’s first main output into the whisky world stored in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished off in a Madeira cask before bottling.
M: A real Madeira cake sweetness (the power of suggestion!) but it is quickly blown away by an almost chlorine-like alcoholic burn.
M: Sweet fudge, vanilla and caramel at the start but again quickly burnt away leaving a spicy, crisp, and pine-y attack with only a hint at Madeira.
M: Long with a lasting taste of young wood at the back of the throat and quite an acidic finish.
M: As a Welshman, I wanted to enjoy this so much, but I’m sad to say that this is disappointing for my first Welsh whisky and it is just not to my tastes. Others out there seem to love it and the various Madeira releases from Penderyn regularly receive elaborate reviews and 90+ scores from Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible. Unfortunately, for me though, it’s just not yet the sweet nectar I was wishing for. I’m hoping that it is just maybe hankered by its youth and this only affects the tastes temporarily as it gets older and the barrels and their whiskies mature. I’m also interested to see if their peated expression can hide some of the burn with the smoke and I reckon that their first 10 years old expression will definitely be one to keep an eye out for!
Glen Moray 30yo
September 2017 marked the 120th anniversary of Glen Moray distillery having been first opened and having constantly crafted the water of life. Loyal followers of the distillery on twitter have been using the hashtag #glenmoray120 to tag their celebration of the occasion. Having recently reviewed their regularly available Elgin Heritage 12 and 15 year old expressions, I was delighted that September’s Dram Team delivery contained a new and limited expression from Glen Moray. The mini miniature contained a dram of a 30 year old independent bottling by Murray McDavid under their “Mission Gold” range. There’s limited information available on the whisky itself but as a Murray McDavid release, it has been hand selected from a vintage cask and aged up to the ripe old age of 30.
M: Creamy. Really creamy. A real vanilla bomb. Very little boozy prickle in the nostrils. Really rounded honey and cream. Some gentle sweet fruits there too like papaya.
M: Vanilla custard. Just like Portuguese tarts. Sweet oak in there too, which intensifies on the way down too.
M: The alcohol only shows itself on the finish as it warms on the way down. Suddenly that 49% is really prominent and leaves a peppery kick.
M: Having tried a few of Glen Moray’s NAS cask finish series releases, I’ve enjoyed their light body and varying flavours and that was what I came to expect of Glen Moray. Delicate and woody. The recent comparison of the 12yo and 15yo however, evidenced a stark difference in flavours and body as a result of a few extra years, so the prospect of 30 years in barrel made me think that this dram would basically taste like chewing a stave. Instead it seems that 30 years have infused nothing but pure vanilla sweetness with a finish that is just sooooo smooth, and at just under 50% ABV, this dram is dangerously easy to drink. At £225 RRP for a bottle though… a small sample is all I’ll be able to enjoy at this stage…
Categories: Tasting Notes
Tags: Glen Moray, malt, Mission Gold, Murray McDavid, scotch, Scotch Whisky, Single, Single Malt, Single Malt Whisky, Speyside, whisky