Penderyn Dragon Range – Legend 41%

While not called Legend, a few of us have tried Penderyn’s Madeira finish over the years. It proved to us that this Welsh distillery has got the balance right – affordable, enjoyable with just enough interesting going on to make us happy to repeat! My most recent revisit was at the close of 2020 with my Advent Calendar malty marathon.

The Madeira finish is a core Penderyn expression and a bottle sitting in Mumbai was intended to anchor an exploration with our desi tasting companions. Which we will get to… one of these months or years…

However in the interim, “Legend” – also a Madeira finish – beckoned as part of the Dragon range tasting set.

Penderyn Legend 41%

  • Nose – Apples, touch of citrus, subtle, vanilla cream, as it warmed up a hint of rum raisins and cream
  • Palate – Some spice, a bit of woodiness, later we wondered – was that a touch of grapefruit? It also had that bitter quality
  • Finish – Spicy at the back – black peppers then ginger

After the delightful Myth which had fruit in abundance in the nose and considerable substance on the palate with a satisfying finish, the Legend came across as… dare I say it… a wee bit flat?

We speculated perhaps we should have started with the Legend – with fresh palates, perhaps this would have made a better ‘appetizer’ before moving on to the bourbon. A bit counter-intuitive but may have resulted in a more harmonious progression.

We set it aside and carried on with the Peaty Celt… then returned to revisit. No major transformation however did detect some red currents, some spice and bitterness.

And what do the folks at Penderyn have to say?

Legend is a Madeira-finish single malt whisky, bottled at 41% abv. (43% in the USA)

  • Nose: Aromas of fresh apples and citrus fruits intermingle with cream fudge and sultana raisins to create a complex yet fresh, clean and well-balanced whisky.
  • Palate: Incredibly smooth and both fresh and rich dried fruits abound. Delicate and sweet on the palate with just a hint of bitterness to remain refreshing.
  • Finish: A long aftertaste of Madeira cake and sultanas.

Would we agree? Not entirely… Could it be my opening and transferring into wee sample bottles a month+ before and distributing dampened the character? Some whiskies are particularly susceptible to losing their “oomph!” with oxidation. Or could it be the recipe for Legend differs from their core Madeira finish?

Either way, we did not find the complexity or the rich dried fruits. Pity…

Here is the convoluted tale of how we came to taste the Penderyn Dragon range:

What about our earlier Penderyn explorations?

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