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Head-to-Head Comparison: Penderyn Peated vs Penderyn Sherrywood

Penderyn’s Madeira Single Malt whisky has been available in South Africa for just over a year now, and is selling well according to Penderyn’s very own distiller, Gillian Macdonald. I met Gillian at last year’s FNB Live Whisky Festival and it was great seeing and catching up with her again at this year’s festival.

In amongst sampling the Madeira again, enjoying Welsh cakes and totally mangling the Welsh language I was fortunate enough to receive samples of two Penderyn whiskies that are not available in South Africa – the Penderyn Peated and the Penderyn Sherrywood. After fending off attempts by my friends to steal the samples away from me, I am happy to finally sit down and compare these two Welsh whiskies and share my impressions.

Penderyn Peated

Penderyn Sherrywood

Penderyn Peated vs Penderyn Sherrywood
Matured in
Ex-Buffalo Trace bourbon casks, finished in second-fill Scotch whisky casks Ex-Buffalo Trace bourbon casks, finished in Oloroso sherry casks
46% ABV 46% ABV
Product Description (sourced from Penderyn’s website)
The sweet aromatic smoke of Penderyn Peated single malt whisky is immediately obvious but soon vanilla, green apples and refreshing citrus notes mingle to give an array of gentle flavours that challenge even the most sophisticated palate. A medium finish with residues of smoke and vanilla that leaves the palate thirsting for more. Penderyn Sherrywood single malt whisky yields rich dark fruits and caramels from dry Oloroso sherry casks which intermingle with green apples, hazelnuts and hints of sugared almonds. The nose is quickly reminded of Penderyn whiskies’ classic freshness. The taste begins with remarkable sweetness that gives way for a moment to a refreshing dryness in the mid palate. Caramels and sultanas persist into a long finish.

Penderyn Sherrywood and Peated whisky samples

Tasting the Peated expression first, I immediately picked up on the typical Penderyn tropical fruit profile, overlaid with smoke. I almost equate the taste to charred citrus peels – slightly bitter, no unpleasant though. While the smoke is there, it’s not quite as integrated as you would find in an Islay peated whisky.

Next up was our second contender, the Sherrywood expression. First off, the nose. A very enjoyable assault on your olfactory glands by a host of fruits (with Penderyn’s citrus notes making their appearance) and a caramel sweetness too. This carries through onto the palate, lovely and smooth with no need to add water to the dram. The finish lingers longer than the Peated expression, departing with a sweet, mellow tail.

Decision time. If I had to spring for a bottle, which would I go for? While I’m a big fan of peated whiskies, the Penderyn Peated just didn’t quite do it for me. That makes the Penderyn Sherrywood my clear winner, and a dram that I’ll add to my collection when it eventually becomes available in South Africa.

Sincere thanks to Gillian from Penderyn for the samples. (No matter where the whiskies tasted are sourced from you can rest assured that my reviews remain independent.)

If you can’t source these whiskies locally, you can purchase them online at Penderyn’s store. Alternately, Master of Malt have the Penderyn Peated and Penderyn Sherrywood in their online shop.

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