Welsh whisky distillery Penderyn is introducing two exciting, new single barrel whiskies to the U.S. market in very limited quantities with both owing their distinctive character to Portuguese wine casks. The first is 6 years old, aged first in Buffalo Trace Bourbon casks and then finished in Tawny Port casks. Unfortunately, we don’t get to try that one today, but they did send us a sample of a 6-year-old whisky that was aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon casks and finished in Moscatel de Setúbal wine casks. It is bottled at barrel strength. Let’s see how it is.
To begin, it’s a beautiful whisky, pouring dark amber orange in the glass, and the nose is lovely with bold orange zest, peach, honey, and floral notes. The first sip jolted me: This is barrel proof whisky, and it’s hot! But along with the heat comes a burst of orange citrus and honey. Adding water, the nose also shows some caramel and seems even more integrated. Taking another sip, I added still more water. Finally I could appreciate the complex palate, which shows lightly sweet orange along with apricot, honey, and a touch of hazelnut. The finish is long and drying, introducing a hint of cocoa. Deep and sweet, this is a great after-dinner whisky that has a lot of character. Don’t be afraid to add water. It can stand up to a lot and keeps delivering all the same.
A- / $120 / penderyn.wales