If we were to ask you to name somewhere famous for its whisky production, chances are Scotland would be the first name out of your mouth, followed by Ireland, followed by the USA, and even Japan. A country you probably don’t think of however, is Wales.
Wales is famous for many things, and considering the fact that the Penderyn Icons of Wales whisky series has proved to be such an enormous hit, you can add whisky to that list as well, boyo!
Penderyn is a very popular Welsh whisky brand and distillery located in the village of Penderyn. Founded back in the year 2000, they produce the first Welsh-made commercially available whisky since the 19th century.
This single malt whisky comes in numerous expressions, including peated, Sherrywood, Portwood, and Madeira Finish. Ninth in their Icons of Wales series however, is ‘The Headliner’ which is proving to be one of the finest tipples currently available.
Penderyn produce exceptional whiskies, there’s no denying that. Of their hugely popular Icons of Wales series however, it is the 9th entry that whisky lovers have been rejoicing over, and we can understand exactly why that is.
Why The Headliner? Well, this single malt is named in honour of David Lloyd George, who was the first Welsh Prime Minister in the UK. This social reformer was responsible for the creation of the premium whisky industry in the UK, albeit by accident.
George, who was not a drinker, created the ‘Immature Spirits Act, 1915’ when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. In an act which he hoped would put the whisky distillery industry out of business, the act stated that all whisky must be distilled for a minimum of three years in oak casks. Back then, the goal was speed, so distilleries were naturally ticked off. This act however, helped to shape whisky into a premium business.
Because he generated so much buzz and got so many people talking, George created more headlines than any other statesman in the 20th century – hence the nickname ‘The Headliner’.
At 46% ABV, this whisky is non-chill filtered and offers plenty of bite with fruity and floral notes with smoky undertones.
On the nose, right away you can detect aromas red berries, fresh strawberries, and rich clotted cream. Once you smell a little deeper however, you are rewarded with fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla.
On the palate, dried sticky fruits shine through, with dates and plums at the forefront. Nipping at their heels however, you get floral honey, salted toffee and caramel, and a slight black peppercorn burn with smoky oak notes.
The finish is smooth and sweet, with yet more strawberries and dry oak smoke. Make no mistake about it, this is a dram you can enjoy in the summer or the winter, in equal measure.
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