Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Whisky Discovery #240

Penderyn 'Red Flag' NAS (41% abv, OB, Bottled 2012, 70cl)
Welsh Single Malt Whisky
circa £39.00 70cl
Penderyn Single Malt
Red Flag; the first of the 'Icons of Wales' series
Welsh distillery Penderyn recently announced the launch of a series of limited edition bottlings; the “Icons of Wales” range, celebrating Wales’ impact throughout the world. A total of fifty limited edition single malt whiskies are planned, each of which will celebrate a person, milestone or event from Wales which resonated internationally.

Red Flag, the first edition was launched on the 24th September and commemorates the first time that a red flag was raised as a symbol of social protest: during the 1831 Merthyr Rising which ended in the execution of miner Dic Penderyn.

The 1831 Merthyr Rising is believed to have been the first time that a red flag was raised as a symbol of social protest, and the Red Flag special edition carries a passage telling the story of Dic Penderyn, whose real name was Richard Lewis. The bottle features a specially commissioned print by the artist Andrew Davidson.

Future editions will draw upon other events from Wales’ history.  Each bottling will be strictly limited in number, and the expressions are expected to become collectors’ items, as other Penderyn special edition whiskies have become.

Dr Jim Swan's Tasting Notes
This whisky is finished in Madeira casks to impart a delicate flavour of subtle complexity. Hand crafted to perfection, the unique distillation process at Penderyn produces a single malt whisky that is smooth, light in character and softly golden in colour.

So What Did We Think?

Kat Says: I sampled two new expressions from Penderyn, side by side. Starting first with Red Flag then followed by Portwood. Both of these finishes gave these whiskies their full bodied characters.

The Red Flag being a Madeira finish, it’s not hard to pick up the Madeira notes in this whisky which can be detected as raisins. I can also pick out rhubarb crumble, cotton candy, and a hint of spice from fresh bay leaves.

On the initial sip, there is a medicinal herb quality which disappeared when I tasted it again after leaving the whisky in the glass for a short while. It’s sweet and smooth, like the nose, the characteristic Madeira flavours shines through creating a nice balance of Madeira and whisky.

The character of this whisky wasn't really affected by adding a drop of water, it only took away a bit of the spicy alcohol sting leaving a long finish, with the spice of the bay leaves returning, staying through to the end.

Dave Says: It's quite sweet on the nose, and although I don't think I've tried Madeira yet (Kat loves it apparently) I can certainly find raisins and the rhubarb crumble that Kat picked out. It also had quite a lot of green wood and a touch of the 'pear drops' that is normally associated with a younger spirit, and a herbal note that I think is a little like dried tea.

The sweetness continues on the palate, like a sweet sherry initially and then finishes a little like saccharin. There is a some fruity vanilla notes before a peppery spice kicks in. Overall the mouth-feel is quite full, rich and smooth. The spicy pepper returns right at the very end leaving the tongue glowing for a short while, then fading back to sweetness and leaving an almond like taste. The empty glass however smells quite fresh and grassy.

I'm not certain how limited this is as there is no mention of the number of bottles released, nor have I been able to find out what the difference between the Red Flag and the standard Madeira Finish that's parts of Penderyn's core range, however checking back through my tasting notes I have found them to be a little different.

This limited edition bottling will be available at Penderyn’s distillery, at www.penderynstore.com and at selected stores throughout Wales. A small number of prints used on the bottle’s label will also be available at the distillery.

Many thanks to Penderyn for supplying the tasting sample. For more information about the award winning Welsh distillery visit www.welsh-whisky.co.uk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like the port finish so I think this might be next on my list.