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Whilst buying whisky online is no doubt convenient, I enjoy the personal ritual of going into a shop to buy a bottle. I like inspecting the labels first-hand; a spot of idle small talk with the shop keeper; and that inner monologue of turmoil while pondering the purchase you really can't afford.
Last weekend I stumbled upon a good wine shop in the City of London, I was already running late to meet my other half but I couldn't resist stopping to have a little sniff around.
The proprietor, who was more than happy to indulge in a bit of whisky chit-chat, had recently visited the Penderyn distillery in Wales. As it happened I was in the mood to take a punt on a recommendation and some 45 minutes later I emerged and quickly scuttled away with a bottle of Penderyn Sherrywood tucked under my arm.
Now, significantly late, I was already in the dog house.
I must be honest, I've courted this whisky a number of times over the week and it has more than satisfied my current sweet tooth, exceeding my expectations.
On the nose: Very rich and fruity, with raisins and a hint of tamarind. You expect a thick syrupy dram. The nose is quite outstanding.
Palate: Oily but still fresh, lots of fruitiness carrying through. Dried papaya and mixed (unsalted) nuts. Hints of fresh wood resin, like the timber section of a garden centre.
Finish: A healthy, long finish with a distinct fruit centre and a trailing vanilla tail.
If this is indicative of what Penderyn are producing, I want to taste more. At 46% I wouldn't bother adding water, it's ready to enjoy as is.
Well worth a couple of hours in the dog house if you ask me.