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Single malt Welsh whisky secures protected status

24 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Photo David Cheskin/PA Wire

One of Wales’ most popular spirits is now officially protected after it secured a special status.

Single malt Welsh whisky has been awarded the Protected Geographical Indication UK GI status, joining other famous Welsh products such as beef, lamb and leeks.

The UK GI scheme was established two years after Brexit and ensures certain food and drink products can continue to receive legal protection against imitation and misuse.

The increase in Welsh whisky producers has led to a collective of four Welsh distilleries being part of the final application for PGI status – Penderyn, In the Welsh Wind, Da Mhile, and Coles.

The tipple makes a significant contribution to the Welsh food and drink economy and is one of Wales’ most influential exports, being sold to more than 45 countries.

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

Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “Single malt Welsh whisky is widely acclaimed for its lightness of character and I am pleased to announce it will be the first protected spirit under our UK GI scheme at the Royal Welsh Show.

“It shows how the UK Government is ready to get behind the best of British food and drink from across the nation – to boost sales at home and abroad, create jobs and grow our economy.

“I look forward to meeting some of the distillers at the Royal Welsh Show and celebrating this unique product’s wonderful history.”

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said: “Wales has a growing reputation for producing high quality food and drink and I’m delighted that Welsh whisky has now been recognised as deserving of this special status.

“UK GI status is really important for distillers and helps them market this fantastic product around the world, and consumers know they are buying a unique product entirely made and bottled in Wales.

“All of this helps the industry to grow, supporting jobs and driving prosperity.”


Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government minister for rural affairs, said: “It is brilliant news single malt Welsh whisky has joined the Welsh GI family with its 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.”

Stephen Davies, chief executive at the Penderyn distillery, added: “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.

“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.”

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 distilleries open as tourist attractions.

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11 months ago

Good on whisky for gaining protected status, but what the article failed to point out was, that UK GI schemes only apply to the UK, so “Welsh whisky” is now protected from imitation in Scotland England and N Ireland, in the big wide world, about as useful as a ashtray on a motorbike.

11 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Unfortunately Gareth I think you are being optimistic. This scheme doesn’t even stretch to Northern Ireland!

11 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Thanks for correcting. That is just sad,only Scotland and England.

11 months ago

The Protected Geographical Indication UK is of little use as unlike the EU version which covers 27 countries this Brexit version covers only Britain and not even Northern Ireland.

11 months ago

Love the way politicians, media and other talking heads get excited about a ” much loved single malt” while chucking our much more important agri-food businesses under as many buses as they can muster. Shame we can’t chuck a minister or two under said buses.

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