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Penderyn Madeira Single Malt Welsh Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46%
Like the other Celtic nations, Wales has a long history of spirit distillation, dating back to the 4th century, with a man known as Reaullt Hir distilling on Bardsey Island off the North Wales coast. The ingredients of this early spirit, known universally as “aqua-vitae” or ‘gwirod’ in the Welsh language, was a mix of barley, yeast and honey distilled to make a basic raw spirit. Much later in 1705 a small commercial distillery at Dale in Pembrokeshire opened. This distillery was owned by Evan Williams's family who later emigrated to the USA and helped found the Kentucky Whiskey Industry. ( His name is attached to a number of high quality bourbons to this day). On 14th September 2000, history was made when the first distillation was carried out at The Welsh Whisky Company's Penderyn Distillery, in the picturesque Brecon Beacons National Park. Penderyn Single Malt Whisky was later launched on St David's Day, 1st March 2004, to huge critical acclaim from both acknowledged whisky experts and "ordinary" consumers. Noted Whisky writer, Jim Murray, had the privilege of been the first person outside the company to analyse the new product at the official launch commenting, “I told them they were tasting not just an historic malt whisky, but one that deserved the highest praise in its own right.”
The Welsh Whisky Company uses a unique design of still for its malt whisky distillation. The still consists of a single "pot" beneath a tall rectifying column and was developed by a team led by Dr David Faraday (a descendant of Sir Michael Faraday, discoverer of the electrolytic cell). Whilst the Scottish distilleries generally use two conventional stills for their production, and the Irish three, the technology developed at Penderyn enables an extremely "clean" and flavourful spirit to be produced from the single still. The design is also extremely energy efficient. Malted barley wash to Welsh Whisky's specification is obtained from the well-known Welsh regional brewer, S A Brain & Co. The still is currently charged once or twice each day and spirit is drawn off at over 91% alcohol. The majority of the whisky spirit is matured using casks sourced from the American bourbon industry (mostly Jack Daniel's, Evan Williams and Buffalo Trace). Penderyn Single Malt is then "finished" using a number of types of fortified wine barrel, mainly rare and difficult-to-obtain Madeira barriques obtained directly from the island of Madeira. The whisky is finally bottled at 46% without chill filtration.
Penderyn Single Malt is released regularly in small batches, therefore each bottling will vary slightly in style. The end product of this process has been described as, “A lovely, light, elegant bouquet, reminiscent of Lowland Malts, with its slightly grassy/earthy rich fruit and creamy Bourbon oak complexity. The palate is superb every bit as delicate as the nose suggests. Gloriously smooth in the mouth. It reminds me of a fine, young Cognac. The Bourbon oak flavours mingle with the Madeira laced fruit, cereal and malt biscuit. Lovely length with a finish that lasts for ages and leaves a hint of spices and salt.” Whisky writer, Jim Murray has variously desrcibed the Penderyn Malt as ”salivating stuff…so wonderfully lip-smacking…a little jewel!” 46% Alc./Vol.
No tasting notes available for the March 2006 bottling.