North Wales Gets Its First Locally-Produced Whisky in Over 100 Years
Unsurprisingly, this initially release from Aber Falls sold out the day it was released.
Scotland is home to the most coveted whiskies in the world. But elsewhere in Great Britain, whisky production is far less common. In England, it's believed that essentially no whisky was produced from 1903 to 2003. And Wales went through a similar dry spell: The first commercially sold whisky distilled in Wales in over a century was only released in 2004. But that's rapidly changing: Nowadays, English whisky is even being produced in London. And a Welsh distillery is billing its new release as the first whisky made in North Wales in over 100 years.
Launched in 2017, Aber Falls Distillery is part of a growing group of Welsh grain distillers (Aber Falls pegs the number at four)—and one of the leaders in a push to get their country's whisky its own Protected Geographical Indication. Today, they've officially released a single-malt named, fittingly, "Inaugural Release," produced using 100-percent Welsh barley and water from the actual Aber Falls waterfall. And as "North Wales' first whisky distillery in over 100 years," this first bottling becomes the first whisky produced in this region in over 104 years.
"The setting of Aber Falls is so unique, nestled between the Menai Straits and the Carneddau mountain range, offering a remote microclimate, creating the ideal conditions to influence the character of the whisky," Kirsty McCallum, Aber Falls' master blender, told The Drinks Business. "One of the big advantages of producing whisky in Wales is having more scope to experiment with a variety of casks, and our wood strategy has also been a key contributor to the finished liquid, which we're extremely pleased with for a three-year-old bottling."
Unsurprisingly, Welsh drinkers and whisky enthusiasts at large appear to have been pretty excited by this new tipple: 2,000 bottles of the 46 percent ABV spirit aged in a mix of American Virgin Oak, Sherry, and Orange wine casks were released at £45 each (approximately $63). Aber Falls already lists them as sold out.