It is better to fight for the good, than to rail at the ill, I have felt with me native land, I am one with my kind, I embrace the purpose of God, and the doom assigned.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
So might Dic Penderyn have reflected as he ascended the scaffold on August 13, 1831. History suggests that the charge was false, the trial corrupt.
But Dic Penderyn is remembered not for the Black Flag flying above Cardiff Castle that day. It was a Red Flag, raised for the first time as a rallying point in the cause of social justice, which would be his lasting memorial. His inspiration gave the world one of its most potent symbols.
A red flag from early times was a symbol of defiance, traditionally signalling a fight to the death. But the Red Flag of Dic Penderyn became a symbol of social protest and working class solidarity. Dipped in calf’s blood, it reflected the killing of sixteen unarmed protestors, and tragically foretold the death of Dic Penderyn himself. It was written at the time.
The people’s flag is deepest red; It shrouded oft our martyred dead.
Dic Penderyn’s real name was Richard Lewis from Aberavon, but he was universally known by the village name in which he lived, and where Penderyn Distillery is located to this day. Dis was a popular miner renowned for his high principles and concern for others. He was involved in the Merthyr Rising of 1831, the violent climax to months of simmering unrest over working conditions and the price of bread. This was to be the first appearance of the Red Flag as a symbol of social protest, but by no means the last.
A soldier was wounded, Penderyn was charged, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. A local petition of 11,000 signatures was overruled by the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, and a grave injustice committed. A deathbed confession of guilt 40 years later in America, and the revelation that a witness lied under oath, further elevated Dic Penderyn to revered martyr in the cause of social justice. Dic Penderyn did not die in vain. Working conditions subsequently improved.
The Red Flag remains today the internationally recognised symbol of working class solidarity. We embrace his independence of spirit, celebrate his courageous stand in the cause of the common good, and respect his place in Welsh, and world, history.
Penderyn Red Flag is the first edition in the Icons of Wales Series. It commemorates the first time that a red flag was raised as a symbol of social protest: during the 1831 Merthyr Rising which ended in the execution of miner Dic Penderyn.
The Red Flag special edition carries a passage telling the story of Dic Penderyn, whose real name was Richard Lewis, and the bottle features a specially commissioned print by the artist Andrew Davidson.
The whisky is finished in madeira casks to impart a delicate flavour of subtle complexity.
Aromas of fresh apples and citrus fruits intermingle with cream fudge and sultana raisins in the nose to create a complex yet fresh, clean and well-balanced whisky. In the mouth, this single malt whisky is incredibly smooth and both fresh and rich dried fruits abound. Delicate and sweet on the palate with just a hint of bitterness to remain refreshing, then slowly presents a long finish leaving an aftertaste of Madeira cake and sultanas.
Penderyn is the rural village that hosts our Distillery and gives its name to Wales’ only Single Malt Whisky. Like ‘Welsh Gold’ (‘Aur Cymru’), this golden whisky is as rare and precious as the Celtic jewellery worn by the old Welsh Princes and by Royalty.
This privately owned distillery in the Brecon Beacons National Park revives a whisky distilling heritage in Wales that goes back centuries; indeed early Welsh distillers were the founding fathers of the American Bourbon industry.
Our unique copper stills are charged daily With a specially fermented malted barley wash to produce a limited quantity of pure Single malt spirit. This is married with spring water (drawn directly from our own source) before being laid down to mature in American oak bourbon barrels.
This ‘whisky’ is finished in madeira casks to impart a delicate flavour of subtle complexity. Hand crafted to perfection, the unique distillation process at Penderyn produces a single malt whisky that is smooth, light in character and softly golden in colour.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.penderyn-distillery.co.uk
* Info taken from bottle and website