It’s only fitting to start a new year with a ‘BANG!’ so here we go! A Gold Medal award-winning, limited-edition whisky from Welsh distillery, Penderyn. aged in Olorosso sherry butts and Bordeaux Grand Cru barrels and its exclusive in Australia to The Single Malt Whisky Club.
Yes the only place in Australia to grab the Penderyn Rhiannon with us. The Rhiannon is an Oloroso and Bordeaux Grand Cru matured Welsh Single Malt and if you’re partial to a bit of a sherry matured whisky, you’ll love this one.
After the huge response to the Penderyn Port Wood we featured early last year, we had hoped to follow it up with this one a little sooner. Sadly, global shipping being what it is at present, means we’ve had to wait and wait… and wait! for this to finally arrive. But it’s finally here and we are pretty stoked.
Every so often – about once a year (but sometimes a few years apart, no ‘set’ timing) – Penderyn release a new addition to their ‘Icons of Wales’ series. The ‘Icons’ are special, limited edition Penderyn expressions – each one celebrating a person, milestone or event from Welsh history with international significance. Previous editions of ‘the Icons’ celebrate such diverse ‘Welsh-ness’ as Poetry (Dylan Thomas), incredible Rugby trys, even the American declaration of independence (due to the number of Welsh ties in the signatories).
Although it was released in 2019, the worldwide COVID situation seems to have only seen it ‘getting out’ to international markets (such as the USA) last year. And finally ‘our’ order has made it here! We are pleased to have secured the entire Australian allocation exclusively for our members.
Rhiannon celebrates a mythic Welsh Goddess – heroin of Britain’s oldest written stories (11th century) – ‘The Mabinogi’. The stories feature strong women characters, and none are stronger than Rhiannon – an enchantress and a horse goddess who could ‘out-run any pursuer even whilst riding slowly’. She was famed for being intelligent, generous, strong-willed, otherworldly, adept at strategic planning and gifted with both supernatural and physical powers. On her journey Rhiannon uses magic to rid herself of a suitor, is falsely accused of infanticide, and later becomes one of only four survivors of a magical thunderstorm. Rhiannon in Welsh means ‘Great Queen’ or ‘Divine Queen.’ Her parents were the Fairy King and Queen of Gwent (in reality a sizeable Welsh Kingdom of ancient Britain), who educated her to handle sovereignty and governance. Rhiannon also possessed a number of magical birds who could soothe the living into a deep slumber, or wake the dead from eternal sleep.
Penderyn Rhiannon was distilled in Penderyn’s signature style, using a single copper-pot that produces a flavourful spirit of extraordinary strength and purity. The still is interesting in itself. Penderyn’s ‘Faraday Still’ could be considered a pot/column still hybrid, it’s technically still classified as a ‘copper pot still’ though. The Rhiannon is a marriage of Oloroso sherry butt matured and Bordeaux Grand Cru barrel matured spirit. It won Gold in the 2021 World Whisky Masters, Jim Murray scored it 96.5 and declared it ‘Liquid Gold’ in the same year. It also won a gold medal gold for it’s unique bottle design at the 2019 Spirits Business Design & Packaging Awards. Tasty AND stylish! – just like yours truly!
Nose: Nutty oak filters through sweet rich fruit notes. Fresh apricots, sweet honey and some floral hints.
Palate: Stewed fruit, butterscotch and some chocolate at first, then turns dry with a liberal pepper sprinkling.
Finish: The dryness carries through to the finish with big oak and mouth coating pepper.
This is a complex whisky in terms of the layers of both taste(s) and mouthfeel. Rich and sweet on the nose and initially same on the palate (with a distinct creaminess too) but then changes tack and gets all dry and peppery. Enjoyable the whole way through. Just as many layers as the mythical Rhiannon herself!