Vita Dulcis 17 – Wales Penderyn Madeira 46%

Ah… Penderyn from Wales… what fun to have a chance to revisit! This Madeira finish is part of their core range – now labelled as “gold“. It has a happy place in our whisky tasting history and one that is a regular ‘stand by’ for sociable evenings.

Wales – Penderyn Madeira Finish 46%

  • Nose – Delicious! Vanilla creme, caramel, resin and raisins, herbal – particularly basil yet hints of mint too, chased by rich toffee
  • Palate – Also yum! Fruit – think pineapple, marmalade on toast with custard, sprinkled with cinnamon, cloves and other sweet spices
  • Finish – Spices, nice ginger tail

As I sipped it, I couldn’t help but smile. Both as I enjoyed the whisky and as I had a flashback to most enjoyable exchanges with Aista Jukneviciute at the Nurnberg “The Village” whisky festival (end Feb/early Mar 2020) where she launched a special expression just for Germany!

Penderyn is a predominantly female distillation team, led by Laura Davies, Distillery Manager, Penderyn Distillery (Wales) – a refreshing contrast to a mostly male industry.

What do they have to say about their Madeira?

This whisky is the original Penderyn ‘house style’, aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in ex-Madeira wine casks to bring out its full gold character. It is bottled at 46% abv.

TASTING NOTES
  • Nose: A classic freshness with aromas of cream toffee, rich fruit and raisins.
  • Palate: Crisp and finely rounded, with the sweetness to balance an appetising dryness.
  • Finish: Notes of tropical fruit, raisins and vanilla persist.
  • Balance: Oaky vanilla tones/dry sweetness

As for my other encounters with the distillery? They are quite a few years earlier:

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Tyrconnell 10 year Madeira Cask 46%

And we are off to the races!

Tyrconnell was once the Cooley (now Kilbeggan) distillery‘s flagship whisky. Once an independent Irish distillery, the label celebrates the Wyatt family champion ‘Tyrconnell’ racehorse – best known for winning in 1876 at odds of 100 to 1 the Irish “The National Produce Stakes.”

In the last few years I’ve started to explore more Irish whiskies… and am quite impressed with the results of the ‘single pot still’ method that  produces the remarkable Redbreast and Yellow Spot.

The Tyrconnell 10 year Madeira Cask won the Irish Whiskey of the Year in Jim Murray`s Whisky Bible 2008.

So… I was both intrigued and delighted when a friend from the UK included this in my ‘Irish whiskies’ shipment on her trip to India last year.

I first shared it with our tasting team on 14 June 2014 together with Ledaig Island and Talisker Dark Storm.

Tyrconnell 10 year Madiera (Whisky Lady)

Tyrconnell 10 year Madeira (Whisky Lady)

And what did we find?

Tyrconnell 10 year Madeira Cask 46%

  • Colour – Light gold
  • Nose – Tamarind, fruit and flowers, copper, sour dough, chikoo, a sense of being a bit ‘young’
  • Taste – An initial sharp nip then spice, coconut, leather, pronounced exceedingly ‘nice’
  • Finish – Alas nothing spectacular… a hint of light leather and mild fruit, while it doesn’t dash off instantly, it does not have the long linger some reviewers boast!
  • Add water? – Don’t… does nothing to improve and with such a light whisky not needed at all

In our blind tasting session, we speculated that while clearly young, it showed ‘nice’ promise.

In my recent revisit, it re-inforced the impression of a light pleasant whiskey. The mood is that of a gentle cantor in a ladies saddle rather than a fast and furious dash to the finish line.

While certainly enjoyable, it doesn’t have that extra distinctive and complex character that I find most attractive.

And I’ve come to learn the 10 year has been discontinued and newer offerings are now are either a standard NAS Single Malt or 15 not 10 years… perhaps an older incarnation of the Tyrconnell will gain those additional elements that can transform a whisky from merely ‘nice’ into ‘oooh baby!’

Special ‘nod’ to a fab lass who was our delightful ‘mule’!

Tyrconnell 10 year (Whisky Lady)

Tyrconnell 10 year (Whisky Lady)

What others are saying:

Other Irish whiskies sampled til date:

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