When you think you know the Penderyn Madeira 46%

Ever think you know something well? To discover perhaps you don’t it as much as you thought? For a couple of us, that was clearly the case with our blind tasting of this Penderyn Madeira finish!

Penderyn Madeira 46%
  • Nose – A curious forrest like quailty initially then shifted into the tropics – more specifically banana… even more a banana cream pie – a yummy banoffee pie, sugar and water, vanilla, berries with a dusting of white castor sugar
  • Palate – Banana, coconut, toffee…. consistent with the banoffee pie and yet also quite dry…
  • Finish – Bitter

Our speculation ran rampant. We could not guess the distillery however thought likely not a standard ex-Bourbon or ex-Sherry… one idea was perhaps a rum cask as we found a Caribean quality to the aromas and flavours…

In truth, we were stumped… and then shocked with the reveal. Why?

This evening was far from our first brush with this Penderyn. And that is when I pulled out previous notes…

To discover our memory was perhaps faulty as there were quite a few elements still in common – particularly the bananas from our 2017 experience! The bananas and bitter finish was even there back in 2011!

So what did our memory retain?
  • A bit of a tricky whisky – not a traditional bourbon or sherry influence (check!)
  • Can initially come across as a bit sharp or unbalanced (check!)
  • But give it time and it becomes quite enjoyable with the different elements start to come into an interesting tune (and…. check!)

I suppose it was more that the banana really dominated this time whereas our most recent tastings (in completely different environments!) had less of the banana and more perfume (2019, 2020). We were also influenced a bit by its cousin expression – Myth – tasted in 2021.

It is also possible that there was a shift in recipe, storage conditions… or just that we approached this one with a different mindset coming 4th in a completely blind tasting evening.

The overall conclusion is that it remains a solid dram and frankly we also just love the elegant cut glass bottle. Yes.. appearances do influence too!

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