Single malt Welsh whisky has been successfully registered under the UK Geographical Indication (UK GI) scheme, which protects its name, authenticity and characteristics.
Announced on the 24 July by food and farming secretary, Therese Coffey, the registration informs consumers that the product they are buying is genuine and the efforts of producers are protected from imitation products.
It is the first new UK spirit drink application to be registered and protected under the new scheme – created after Brexit – and joins other British products such as Scotch Whisky, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Cornish Clotted Cream.
Single malt Welsh whisky can be traced as far back as 1887. It is made using malted barley and water of 100% Welsh origin. With the new protection, only whiskies made in this way can be named single malt Welsh whisky. The product is registered to four distillers in Wales that export to over 45 countries worldwide including the US, France, Germany and China.
Coffey 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.”
Each step of the production process must take place in Wales, from brewing to bottling.
Stephen Davies, CEO of Penderyn Whisky, said: “The achievement of UK GI status for single malt Welsh whisky is a significant milestone for Penderyn as a producer but 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.”
Welsh secretary David TC Davies said that Wales has a “growing reputation for producing high-quality food and drink”.
He added: “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.”
Single malt Welsh whisky now holds full protection and recognition throughout the UK as a GI.
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