Thursday, February 25, 2010

Welsh Whisky….is it worth it?


Last night, I tried Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky with a Madeira finish.

Penderyn is the only Malt Whisky made in Wales and I picked it up solely for that reason.

As always, I went to the distilleries site prior and learned that Penderyn also has a line of Vodka, Gin and Cream Liquor.  To me, a whiskey drinker….this doesn’t bode well.  “Stick with one thing and do it well” is my motto.

I was also enlightened to the fact that this particular variant was laid up first in bourbon casks (Buffalo Trace) and then finished in Madeira barrels.  Since I like Buffalo Trace, I thought this might be an interesting pairing. 

In addition, I found it interesting that they recommended drinking neat, at 46% abv.  Now I have never been one to shy away from cask strengths….so maybe things were looking up.

COLOR – Very light Golden.  It reminded me of watered down apple juice.

NOSE – White wine, with hints of Apple or Peach liquor

TASTE – Malty with caramel undertones.  Other flavors there, but hard to discern.

FINISH – Honeyed Walnuts with a spicy burn towards the end.

This one is really hard for me to rate.  Everything is there that I would like, but the whisky itself failed to wow me.  To put this in perspective, I was fixing dinner while writing this.  When I returned later, I still had 1/2 a glass sitting…..I was so underwhelmed I forgot about it.  THIS never happens with me.  I feel the distillers could leave this whisky casked longer in both the bourbon and Madeira barrels to add more flavor and color.  In fact, the color is one of the off putting aspects of this one, not only is it light, but the packaging is deceptive….using an open black container to add depth and make the liquid look darker. 

If I were to grade this one out, I would say a C- and recommend something (almost anything) else.  Very disappointing.

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