Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Enter The Dragon: A Taste of Wales - Penderyn and Danzy Jones
It seems fitting, having grown up on the English side of the Welsh border, that on my return I sample some of the alcoholic delights of Wales, a country that has an excellent culinary record and as I was to realise, some great drinks as well. The first is from the (relatively) new distillery of Penderyn and the second is a Welsh whisky liqueur.
Penderyn is a single malt I've been aware of for some time, but can't actually remember trying apart from maybe in a local pub after multiple pints had ruined my palate. So I was interested to try this Welsh whisky. Furthermore I also got to have a healthy glass of Brecon Gin that is also distilled at Penderyn. This juniper-led gin had a fantastic celery character that gave it a freshness that I would love to apply to a cocktail in the future. It was more delicate than other gins I drink and not at all cloying. See future blogs for gin reviews. Back to the whisky.
46% - No Age Statement - Madeira Cask
Nose: Vanilla and toffee followed by red fruits, predominately raspberry. There is a cereal quality that comes to the fore with time in the glass and a hint of cinder toffee.
Palate: Vanilla and cereal hold the ground here with a biscuity edge.
Finish: Spirity but sweet with gooseberry overtones.
Overall: Considering this is still a fairly young whisky it has a fair amount going on. I particularly liked the biscuit flavours and gooseberry finish. I'm excited to try their other expressions, notably the sherry wood finish.
The Welsh whisky liqueur I mentioned earlier was that of Danzy Jones. My experience of whisky liqueurs is fairly limited. When I was younger I regularly mixed Famous Grouse and Drambuie into Rusty Nails, I have tried (and spat out) Atholl Brose, and was surprised by the Compass Box whisky infusion that is Orangerie. So I don't have much to go on, but Danzy Jones had a lot more going for it than other whisky liqueurs I have tried.
32% - No Age Statement - Welsh Whisky Liqueur
Nose: There was a linoleum quality matched with chlorine with a thick base of stewed damsens and rich mincemeat (the mincepie kind).
Palate: Sweet mincemeat and rum butter in a very Christmassy flavour profile.
Finish: Burnt Christmas cake, intense if fairly swift.
Overall: The best whisky liqueur I have tried, my associations with it would make it a great Christmas whisky, maybe one to wash down a mincepie with, Wales has done it again!