Welsh whisky awarded protected origin status

Welsh whisky is to join its Scottish counterpart in being officially awarded protected origin status.

Single malt from four distilleries in Wales,  Coles, Da Mhile, In the Welsh Wind and Penderyn, has been awarded protected geographical indication (UK GI) status.

The UK GI scheme was established at the beginning of 2021, following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and ensures certain food and drink products can continue to receive legal protection against imitation and misuse.

Single Malt Welsh Whisky makes a significant contribution to the food and drink economy of Wales and is now one of Wales’ most influential exports, currently being exported to over 45 countries.

It is forecast to generate a revenue of £23 million in the current financial year including domestic, export and travel retail sales.

Single Malt Welsh Whisky combines the long heritage of whisky production with an innovative approach to distilling, offering a broad range of flavours and styles.

Welsh whisky production is also important for tourism with all of the current Welsh distilleries open as tourist attractions.

‘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,’ said Stephen Davies, chief executive at Penderyn.

‘It assists in safeguarding both the quality of the product and also its source of origin.

‘It’s an exciting step forward and one that puts focus on an industry that has been growing steadily over the last 20 years.’

Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, said: ‘It is brilliant news Single Malt Welsh Whisky has joined the Welsh GI family with it’s name now protected.

‘The Welsh whisky industry continues to go from strength to strength, playing an important role in the food and drink sector here in Wales.

‘I am very pleased for all those involved in gaining this prestigious status and ensures this fantastic product gains the recognition and prestige it deserves.’

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.

Don’t miss the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.