Sometimes Loungers, it’s nice for us to pretend be a customer once in a while!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a privilege to present new and exciting whiskies to you. But it’s also fun, occasionally, to be on the receiving end, with the insight of some of our friends and colleagues in the industry!
Fortunately, via our festivals, we get to know folks from every corner of the industry. Whether they’re from one of the larger distillers, like Diageo or Edrington Beam Suntory, or new and up and coming independent distillers, like Bimber or Spirit of Yorkshire. So we’re blessed with the ability to bring you a cornucopia of offerings from anywhere and everywhere!
This year, we’ve been working closely with the lovely folks from Penderyn Distillery in Rhondda Cynon Taf (that’s in Wales!). The culmination of this was, during September and October, our customers in six venues up and down the country (Leeds, York, Manchester, Newcastle, London and Birmingham – if you were wondering!) were treated to a deep-dive into the Penderyn range, under the tutelage of their Global Brand Ambassador David Cover. On the cards was an in-depth tasting of Penderyn stalwarts, Legend, Madeira and Portwood, along with the brand-new Rich Oakand Icons Of Wales #7 Rhiannon, and finally, a special treat in the form of a distillery-only edition, finished in a peated ‘quarter-cask’ – bottled for the occasion!
Our attendees also gave David’s knowledge of both the history and workings a work-out. Everything from the inception of the distillery, explaining how Brain’s – their local brewery – used to prepare their wash, the discovery of their distinctive “Faraday Still”, along with the input of the late Dr. Jim Swan in developing Penderyn. Right up to developing 50 releases for their “Icons Of Wales” series and recent successes in winning multiple awards in multiple competitions.
What is evident is that Penderyn have carved a real niche for themselves, and the continued loyalty and commitment to the Faraday still, in particular, has contributed to this. It creates a very different spirit to the more ubiquitous pot still and is very much a part of what makes the Penderyn character so different to its Scottish counter-parts. If you have not seen a Faraday still, check it out below or, even better, go and see it in operation at the distillery. This coupled to a very interesting and varied cask maturation program – Penderyn’s flagship expression is purposely matured fully in Madeira casks – means that they have created a really unique DNA for their whisky.
The whiskies went down extremely well, with customers now enlightened as to why they taste the way they do.
It’s not often that you that get to quiz someone of Dave’s experience and knowledge on a subject that he is clearly passionate about – personally I couldn’t have asked for more insight, enthusiasm and genuine positivity about what they are doing down at Penderyn. And judging by the amount of sales generated (we don’t usually do that!) its fair to say that customers on each night would agree with me.
So, a big thank you to Dave and all of the folks at Penderyn for their contributions. And thanks to those of you that made it along to one of the tastings – you make it worthwhile!
Penderyn can be found at all of our festivals this year (and hopefully next) so feel free to pick their brains when you see them!
We are hoping to bring you more ‘behind the scenes’ tasting series in 2020 so watch this space!