A Big Day for Welsh Whisky
Welsh whisky now joins the powerhouses of Scottish and Irish single malt, as having special protection against imitation. The label serves to ensure quality and authenticity, with only the genuine product made in a particular region being able to bear the places' name. The likes of Jersey Royal Potatoes, Stilton Blue Cheese and Stornoway Black Pudding are safeguarded from copycats under UKGI.
The four single malt distilleries in Wales fall under the label: Coles, Da Mhile, In the Welsh Wind and Penderyn. The chief executive of Penderyn distillery, Stephen Davies, said: “The achievement of UKGI status for single malt Welsh whisky is a significant milestone for Penderyn as a producer, and also for the wider Welsh whisky industry.” Adding that it “assists in safeguarding both the quality of the product and also its source of origin”.
He founded the distillery in 2004 with the aim of crafting a whisky as precious as Welsh gold. The first whisky distillery in Wales for over a century, it has since grown to become a producer of award-winning single malt at the forefront of the Welsh whisky industry. Penderyn opened a second distillery in 2021, named Llandudo, and are expanding into Swansea. Single Malt Welsh Whisky is currently one of Wales’ most popular exports, with it being available in 45 countries. This years' financial forecast predicts a huge £23 million in total revenue.
Although the certification only protects the product within the UK, it is seen as a stepping stone to applying for wider status in the EU and beyond. We expect the English whisky industry will follow suit, as a number of England-based distilleries collectively founded the English Whisky Guild in 2022 - with an aim to be recognised globally as a respected choice for whisky drinkers.
Lechyd da [Cheers] to Welsh whisky!