Penderyn marks St David’s Day with sixth Icon of Wales

by Owen Bellwood

Welsh whisky maker Penderyn has added a peated portwood cask-finished expression to its Icons of Wales series to commemorate St David's Day.

The new whisky was inspired by the first Welsh Whisky Company, which operated in Wales for nearly 100 years in Frongoch, near Bala, before it closed in 1903. According to Penderyn, Queen Victoria visited the Welsh Whisky Company in 1891 and 1895, and so its Royal Welsh Whisky was born. The new Penderyn Icons of Wales #6 – Royal Welsh Whisky is modelled on an original 19th-century bottle of Royal Welsh Whisky and finished in peated portwood casks. Stephen Davies, Penderyn managing director, said: “This is a great chance to celebrate Wales’ whisky heritage and the original Welsh Whisky company at Frongoch. Creating a global brand is a massive challenge, and we are proud to create award-winning whiskies which travel from Wales to the world, and this bottle pays homage to those early Welsh whisky pioneers.” On the palate, the new whisky is said to have “sweet smoky toffee/treacle notes, a trace of cracked black pepper, malted barley and the soft sweetness of fudge”, leading to a lingering wood spice final note. The whisky launches today, St David’s Day (1 March), which marks the feast of the patron saint of Wales. Bottled at 43% abv, Icons of Wales #6 – Royal Welsh Whisky is available to buy from for £48 (US$63). To mark the launch, Penderyn partnered with Welsh actor Julian Lewis-Jones and toured the site of the former distillery in Frongoch with local expert Alwyn Jones. Jones showed them the last remaining brick from the Welsh Whisky Company's chimney. Watch a video of Penderyn's visit to Frongoch below.