Hot! Penderyn Whisky:The first and only Welsh Whisky in the World!

Penderyn Distillery

CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie

When one thinks of whisky, the word Scotch instantly comes and reverberates through the mind as one takes a sip of the golden elixir. Despite the famed reputation of Scottish whisky, there have been many other variations of popular whiskies that have been popping up across the globe. One of them has even been gaining traction in literally Scotland’s backyard- Wales!

Penderyn’s Origins
Wales had lost the craft of whisky distillation since 1894 when the last surviving distillery closed its doors forever. The closure was a loss of national pride for the people of Wales, but no one could re-establish a whisky distillery for over a century. In the late 1990s, a group of friends met at a pub in a small Welsh valley town for a catch-up session over drinks. The small but tightly-knitted group of friends was extremely passionate about whisky, and patriotic too. The evening started with casual small talk until one of them brought up the idea of opening a distillery in Wales. As the night progressed, the group of friends began to conceptualise the idea of building a new whisky distillery in Wales. It would be a Welsh distillery that creates “a whisky as pure and precious as Welsh gold” – one which the people of Wales would be proud to call their own.

The group then decided on a location for the distillery – the historic village of Penderyn on the southern tip of the Brecon Beacons. The site was perfect due to its endless supply of fresh, natural spring water. Pooling their resources together, the group of friends began the construction of Penderyn Distillery and established the home of the Welsh’s liquid elixir on March 2004 in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Charles. Since then, Penderyn became the first and only whisky to be manufactured in Wales when sales started in 2004.

Gold Range 5

The Distilling Process
The Penderyn distillery uses unique single-pot copper stills called the Faraday Stills that were designed by Dr David Faraday- a relative of the famous 19th-century scientist Michael Faraday.

The single-pot still technology developed at Penderyn allows for an extremely clean spirit to be produced from a single still. The process begins with filling the still with their own malted barley wash. As the liquid starts to bubble, the steam rises into a copper column above the still. The column has a number of perforated plates, and the vapour condenses on the first, second plate and so on before evaporating and returning to the still. As the process continues, each step leaves the spirit smoother and more refined than before.

This outstanding process not only imbues the raw spirit with great complexity, depth and finesse but also removes many undesirable chemical compounds and finishes at the spirit safe at an industry high of 92% abv – something that a conventional pot still system cannot achieve.

Afterwards, the spirit is imbued with water from the Brecon Beacons, then left to age in charred oak barrels from the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky. Once it is ready for its next journey, the whisky is then left to finish the final years of its ageing process in classic Madeira casks. Occasionally, Penderyn will use different kinds of wood to suit different expressions of whiskies, such as Portwood barrels from Portugal and dry Oloroso Sherry casks from Spain to impart different flavour profiles and finishes to the final product.

The Welsh Liquid Gold
Just like any whisky brands on the market, Penderyn has a wide range of whiskies that are meant to appeal to everyone’s taste buds, However, stick with the classics and one can never go wrong- in this case, Penderyn’s Gold Range of whiskies. (All of the Liquid Gold whiskies are bottled at 46% abv.)

01. Penderyn Madeira

Penderyn Madeira
Being the original Penderyn ‘house style’, this whisky is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in ex-Madeira wine casks to bring out its golden character. Upon first nosing the whisky, a quintessential freshness with hints of cream toffee, rich fruit and raisins make itself known with a crisp and finely rounded taste on the palate- with a mild sweetness to balance an appetising dryness. The whisky then finishes with notes of tropical fruit, raisins and vanilla.

02. Penderyn Peated

Penderyn Peated
This whisky has a delicate spirit with a medium peaty character and a light golden tone. It introduces itself with sweet, aromatic smoke filled with signature notes of vanilla, green apple and refreshing citrus. As the whisky slides down the throat, the combination of smoke and vanilla lingers for a medium-length finish.

04. Penderyn Sherrywood

Penderyn Sherrywood
The Sherrywood range has the classic Penderyn style enhanced by rich tones of dry Oloroso sherry casks. The aroma of caramel and dark fruit intertwines with green apples, hazelnuts and hints of sugared almonds. The fruity sweetness then leads to a mildly dry lingering in the palate before finishing with a hint of caramel once again.

05. Penderyn Rich Oak

Penderyn Rich Oak
The newest addition to the Gold Range, this whisky is finished in ex-red wine casks that imbues the whisky with a sweet fruity taste. With a single sniff of the whisky, the fragrance of dark chocolate fudge is followed by lush fruits with traces of green apples, mango, banana & guavas.

This results in a rich and complex whisky with a creamy texture with hints of nutty toffee that finishes with a creamy vanilla flavour.

03. Penderyn Portwood

Penderyn Portwood
The final expression in the Gold Range, the Portwood-finish single malt whisky is a classic favourite and perfect for anyone who prefers a milder or sweeter tasting whisky. The elixir smells of rich dried fruits with dark chocolate with just a hint of toasty oak. The resulting taste on the palate gives an extremely creamy yet smooth richness with notes of honey and spiced sweetness that finishes gently on the tongue.

Apart from the Gold Range, Penderyn has also released a trio of entry-level whiskies called the Dragon Range that depicts a red dragon on the bottle which reflects the national flag of Wales. The three expressions consist of the Penderyn Legend with a classic smooth finish due to its maturation in madeira casks, the Penderyn Myth with its sweet red-wine cask finish and finally the Penderyn Celt with its rustic, smoky taste due to its maturation in ex-peated casks. (All three are bottled at 41% abv.)

Dragon Range

Penderyn Distillery has amassed a wide variety of awards in the past few years. It is a testimony of the owners’ passions for whisky and their employees’ commitment to making only the purest Welsh whisky. The proudest moment was when the distillery won the Grand Spirits Master Award in the 2017 Spirits Business Competition. Most of the whisky expressions that have been mentioned above have themselves won numerous awards from the Spirits Business Competition and the International Wine and Spirits Competition since 2014.

Should one be curious and feel thirsty to try out the whiskies after all these talks, Penderyn will be hosting some exclusive tasting sessions and whisky-pairing dinners in early March!

To celebrate their successful collaboration with The Providore, Penderyn is hosting a tasting session at The Providore Downtown Gallery* outlet on the 1st March from 12 pm to 2pm! The event will offer two classic ranges- the Sherrywood and Rich Oak whiskies to whisky collectors or aficionados while paying homage to and honouring St David’s day. Admission is free.

A full five-course dinner will be held at Conrad Centennial Singapore, The Lobby Lounge* on the 1st March, from 7pm to 10pm. The dinner will showcase the full range of the eight different expressions of Penderyn whiskies and how well they complement various dishes of different flavour profiles. (The dinner will be priced at S$150++ per pax.)

Penderyn Whisky Dinner Menu 1

For guests who are unable to make it on a Friday night, The Whiskey Library at The Vagabond Club* will also be throwing a whisky pairing five-course dinner session on 2nd March, from 7:30pm to 10pm. To register, email WhiskeyLibrary@TheVagabond.Club to book your spot! (The dinner will be similarly priced at S$150++ per pax)

Penderyn-Whiskey-Tasting-Menu 2

Wala Wala Café Bar* will play host to a tasting session on 2nd March from 3.30pm to 6pm of Pendaryn’s Gold Range of whiskies- the Madeira-Finish, Peated, Sherrywood, Rich Oak, and Portwood. Light snacks will be provided during the tasting to act as a palate cleanser or to ensure that no one passes out during from hunger during the little soiree. To register for this event, contact them at 6462 4288 or register at their Facebook page. (S$50++ per pax, S$40++ for friends of Wala Wala)

*Note: All events will be hosted by Penderyn’s Brand Ambassador, Michael Wheeler.

For more information regarding the above-mentioned whisky events, please visit

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