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Unique Welsh whisky distiller targets global growth

By Ben Bouckley+

06-Aug-2013

The only whisky producer in Wales - whose first single malt was launched by Prince Charles in 2004 - is installing three new stills to more than triple its capacity and boost sales overseas.

Penderyn Distillery now has sales of £4m ($6.13m) but recently won £900,000 in bank funding to increase single malt production from 150,000 bottles a year to 400,000-500,000.

The distiller believes the investment could double sales within five to seven years, with the timeline due to the long whisky maturation process.

'Propel the company forward'

MD Stephen Davies (pictured) said business growth had been limited by a lack of production capacity, rather than demand, "so  this  investment  will  help  us to propel the company forward".

"We have established  a  strong brand and business and we are now at the stage where we  want  to  capitalize  on  that  and  look  for  expansion," he added. "Whisky is a competitive  marketplace  but  we are fully confident we can increase sales both and home and abroad.”

Clear point of difference

Penderyn is the only Welsh whisky producer with a product on sale, but claims its malts differ in taste and production terms to Scottish or Irish whiskies.

Local spring water is used from the Brecon Beacons, and the spirit is matured in old Bourbon casks from Buffalo Trace in Kentucky and finished in Madeira barrels.

Scottish distilleries sell 80% of their whiskies overseas, and Penderyn only sells around 20% but wants to double this figure via exports to Europe, North America and Asia.

The distiller has been running since 2000 and also counts a vodka, gin and liqueur as part of its product lineup.