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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky Distillery

Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky   46% abv

Madeira Finished Non chill-filtered

Welsh Gold (‘Aur Cymru’)


Tasting notes:


This whisky is ‘finished’ in Madeira casks to impart a generous flavour of subtle complexity and gentle moreishness.  The unique distillation process at Penderyn produces a single malt whisky that is supremely smooth, light in character, softly golden in colour and does not require chill filtering.  


At a premium strength of 46% abv, Penderyn has an exceptionally balanced taste and the aroma is of cream, toffee and fleetingly of fresh new leather.  Then, as the initial sensations fade, the finishing notes of tropical fruits, raisins and vanilla emerge strongly and are long lasting.

The Penderyn Distillery is found in the picturesque village of Penderyn in the southern reaches of the scenic splendour of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The area has spectacular mountain scenery, open moorland and valleys containing fast-flowing streams, rivers and waterfalls. The famous and popular Scwyd-Yr-Eira waterfall is within walking distance of the distillery.  All distillation, maturation and (unusually) bottling are carried out on the company's premises; enabling close quality control to be applied to all stages of the process.


Penderyn Welsh Whisky Distillery History


Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky was first launched on St David's Day, 1st March 2004 in the presence of HRH Prince Charles, to huge critical acclaim from both acknowledged whisky experts and "ordinary" consumers. Indeed, The Welsh Whisky Company has already won a number of prestigious awards for the quality and taste of the whisky and for its distinctive and stylish packaging.


Like the other Celtic nations, Wales has a long history of spirit distillation. It started life as far back as 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.


In more recent times, there was a small commercial distillery at Dale in Pembrokeshire, opened in 1705.  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 still attached to a number of high quality bourbons to this day.


In the 19th Century a whisky distillery operated at Frongoch near Bala in North Wales under the chairmanship of a Mr Robert Willis.  In the late 1800's, the “chapel building mania” in Wales with its associated temperance movement, combined with the unfortunate death of Mr Willis under the wheels of a horse and cart, conspired to put an end to distillation in Wales for more than 100 years.


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.


The Still


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.  All elements of the distillation process can be closely controlled by the Master Distiller, enabling consistent high quality standards to be achieved.




The individual characteristics of a malt whisky are derived from a number of different factors, including the variety and quality of malted barley used; the water source and the design and operation of the still. However, much of the flavour and all of the colour are dependent on the type of wooden barrels used for maturation.


At Penderyn, 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 Welsh Whisky 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. Sherry and port barrels are also used to provide different flavours and characteristics for some of the "special edition" whiskies released from time to time.


The mix of barrels used for in the maturation warehouse at Penderyn is under the close control of our Master Distiller to ensure the highest levels of consistency and quality for which Penderyn has quickly gained a worldwide reputation.




The use of the best quality water is critical to the production of a fine single malt whisky. The distillery site at Penderyn was selected for its location in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, above an underground lake.  The pure spring water flows over peat land and permeates through porous red sandstone and limestone caverns, before being drawn directly into the distillery and used for "cutting" the Penderyn whisky to its bottling strength.


Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky Distillery Bottlings

Penderyn 46%

Penderyn  Cask Strength Rich Maderia

Penderyn  Peated Edition

Penderyn  Portwood ‘European Single Cask Whisky of the Year’ Jim Murray's whisky bible 2010

Penderyn  Rich Maderia

Penderyn Single Cask Limited Editions

Penderyn Sherry wood


Penderyn Welsh Whisky Older Distillery Bottlings

Penderyn  Cask Strength First Release

Penderyn  Grand Slam 2005

Penderyn  Grand Slam 2008

Penderyn Olorosso  Limited Edtion 50% Wood Case

Penderyn Peated Limited Edtion 50% Wood Case

Penderyn Welsh Rugby 125th Anniversary edition

Penderyn Millenium Cask

The Welsh Whisky Company

Penderyn Distillery


CF44 9JW


Tel: 01685 813300


For Visitor Centre Enquiries

Keith Tench


[email protected]

Tel. 01685 810651


Please confirm with the distillery before travelling

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