Penderyn Icons of Wales series 2/50 : Independence
On the 4th of July 1776, at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, the emerging statesman Thomas Jefferson was one of the fifty-six men who adopted the Declaration of Independence. It was and is one of the most important documents in history. Debating its every work, he must have felt himself far from the ancestral home of his family in Llanberis, a village on the lower slopes of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.
Wales is a small country with an equally small population. Yet Jefferson and fully fifteen of his fellow signatories came from Welsh roots. Surprising, until you remember that one in five of the Pilgrim Fathers is believed to have been Welsh and that in the late 17th century a large number of Welsh Baptists and Quakers escaped religious intolerance by emigrating to what were then the colonies, including Pennsylvania.
In a life of supreme achievement Jefferson went on to become one of America’s most famous Presidents. His terms in office from 1801-1809 earned him a place in history and on Mount Rushmore, alongside another President who could claim Welsh ancestry, Abraham Lincoln. Remarkably, the Declaration of Independence marked both Jefferson’s political arrival and his farewell. Aged 83, he died on the 4th of July 1826. It was the fiftieth anniversary of Independence Day.
At Penderyn, the only distillery in Wales, we know a thing or two about the spirit of independence. In a single malt whisky as with a nation, it is quality to be celebrated. May we propose a toast?
Declaration of Independence Signatories of Welsh Origin
George Clymer: Pennsylvania. Age 37. Merchant
William Floyd: New Jersey. Age 41. Land Speculator
Button Gwinnett: Georgia. Age 41. Merchant
Joseph Hewes: North Carolina. Age 46. Merchant
William Hooper: North Carolina. Age 34. Lawyer
Stephen Hopkins: Rhode Island. Age 69. Merchant
Francis Hopkinson: New Jersey. Age 38. Lawyer
Thomas Jefferson: Virginia. Age 33. Lawyer
Francis Lewis: New York. Age 63. Merchant
Lewis Morris: New York. Age 50. Planter
Robert Morris: Pennsylvania. Age 42. Merchant
John Morton: Pennsylvania. Age 52. Farmer
John Penn: North Carolina. Age 36. Lawyer
George Read: Delaware. Age 42. Lawyer
James Smith: Pennsylvania. Age 57. Lawyer
William Williams: Connecticut. Age 45. Merchant
With thanks to the Welsh Society of Philadelphia
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 single variety 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 casks.
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.
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 Penderyn presents a long finish leaving an aftertaste of Madeira cake and sultanas.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.penderyn-distillery.co.uk
* Info taken from bottle