In honour of St. David’s Day, Mr. B. suggested that I write up my notes on Merlyn – a Welsh cream liqueur produced by the Penderyn Distillery in South Wales; named after the Carmarthen-born wizard of Arthurian Legend. Whilst Merlyn isn’t strictly a whisky liqueur (it uses malted barley spirit as its base), Penderyn do make a good array of whiskies and I imagine anyone who enjoys a good whisky cream liqueur would also thoroughly enjoy Merlyn. It comes in a modern, black, matte bottle with sweeping, romantic lettering.
Merlyn has a rich, creamy nose that reminded me strongly of toffee ice-cream or vanilla fudge; I also detected a faint hint of coffee. It was a very straight-forward, but pleasant nose.
Once it hit my tongue, I was instantly surprised at how light and smooth it was; Merlyn glides across your tongue with hardly any weight or syrupiness to it at all. Like the nose, the taste reminded me of ice-cream, only without any of the clinginess of thick cream. I then tasted a flash of sweet fruit flavours: strawberry and peach.
The alcohol in this liqueur comes through mainly via a lovely, gentle warmth that fades in after that flash of fruitiness. I cannot emphasise enough how deliciously smooth this liqueur is: I kept waiting for a jab of harsh alcohol, but it just wasn’t there.
I have to admit to having been instantaneously won over by Merlyn: it is smooth without being tasteless or boring, has a non-uniform flavour that continues to intrigue me, and a comforting warmth at the end that is unmarred by any harsh finishes.
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus!
– Mrs. B.
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