Penderyn distillery

The Penderyn distillery was founded in 1999 and launched its first whisky on St. David's Day in 2004. It now uses exclusively ex-Bourbon casks from Buffalo Trace and, for its finishes, selects a variety of sherry, port and madeira casks from different suppliers. Penderyn has plans to open two more distilleries; one in Swansea and one in Llandudno. Once again, the emphasis is on quality and not on mass-production.

Barley from Norfolk is malted and sent to the distillery where it is milled and treated with a first water at about 65°C then a second water at a higher temperature and then a third at up to 90°C. The third water has so little sugar in it that it is used as part of the next batch's first water. Two yeasts are used that bring the fermentation to a conclusion after 72 hours after which it contains 8-9% alcohol. The wash goes into the wash still where it is distilled to produces low wines at about 23-25% alcohol. The low wines then go into the spirit still which produces a heart spirit in the range 75-67% alcohol.

Six whiskies were tasted at the Venue Cymru in Llandudno on 2nd November 2019. The event was hosted by Michael (Mike).

  • Myth - a 41% lightened version of the 46% Rich Oak. The whisky is matured for 4-5 years in ex-Bourbon casks and then up to 12 months in recharred French oak. Tasking notes: honey on the nose, a palate of sweet treacle.
  • Madeira - a 46% whisky finished in Madeira casks. Tasting notes: honey, pepper, dried fruit and pear drops on the nose, a palate of treacle and honey, long finish.
  • Sherry - a 46% whisky blended from whisky from ex-Bourbon casks (70%) and Oloroso sherry butts (30%). Tasting notes: floral, sherry and lemon zest on the nose, rich fruit cake on the palate.
  • Portwood - a 46% dark amber whisky matured in ex-Bourbon casks and then 2½-3 years in Port pipes. Tasting notes: oak, vanilla and cinnamon on the nose, long sweet treacle palate.
  • Rhiannon - a 46% whisky matured in ex-Bourbon casks for 4-5 years then in sherry (60%) and Chateau Margot red wine casks (40%). Tasting notes: wine influence, fruit cake and an astringent nose, caramel and tannin palate and a long treacle finish.
  • Unique small batch of three casks at 50%. Two casks were ex-Bourbon and the third was a problem cask that took a while to produce something useful. The result is a very dark amber whisky. Tasting notes: strong dried fruits on the nose and palate.

The Portugese red wine casks are STR (Shaved - Toasted - Recharred) conditioned - this means that the staves are shaved by removing 1-2mm and the cask is then toasted slowly using oak chips to caramelise the new oak sugars and vanillans. Finally, the casks are then recharred for a very short period. Both the Portugese and Kentucky casks are only used once.

Other Products

The distillery produces a range of whisky expressions and these are widely available in the online shop or in shops.


No purchases were made on the day as there was no alcohol licence for the event.