The history of whisky in Wales is a story of revival and resurgence, characterised by periods of prosperity followed by decline, and ultimately, a triumphant return to prominence. While Scotland and Ireland are renowned for their whisky traditions, Wales has its own unique and compelling whisky heritage, and at Nant Ddu Lodge Hotel and Spa we are well placed for you to explore this unfolding story.
The early history of Welsh whisky dates back to the 18th century, with references to distillation in the region. However, the whisky industry in Wales faced several challenges, including legal restrictions and taxation. In the late 19th century, Welsh whisky began to thrive with the establishment of distilleries in the southern part of the country, notably in the Brecon area.
However, the heyday of Welsh whisky was short-lived. The early 20th century saw the decline of the industry due to economic challenges, two world wars, and changing consumer preferences. By the mid-20th century, Welsh whisky production had all but disappeared.
Fortunately, the turn of the 21st century marked a renaissance for Welsh whisky.
The Penderyn Distillery was founded in 2000 but revived the whisky-making traditions of our Brecon Beacons region. Penderyn adopted innovative methods, such as using a unique Faraday Still, to produce a distinct style of whisky characterised by a smooth, fruity, and mellow profile.
Penderyn led the way, and other distilleries, like the Dà Mhìle Distillery and the Aber Falls Distillery, also joined the resurgence. These distilleries gained recognition for their craftsmanship and commitment to producing high-quality Welsh whisky.
Today, Welsh whisky is celebrated not only for its historical significance but also for its unique flavours and production methods. The revival of distilleries in Wales has added a new chapter to the rich tapestry of whisky-making in the United Kingdom, making Welsh whisky a sought-after and respected addition to the world of fine spirits.
You will find Penderyn’s original Brecon Beacons distillery at Pontpren, just 10 miles away from us at Nant Ddu Lodge Hotel and Spa, and we highly recommend a visit. The award-winning Visitor Centre saw more than 43,000 visitors in 2019, and offers an hour-long tour. Discover more about the founding of Penderyn, how the award-winning whisky is made and what makes this Welsh spirit so unique. With a full distillery tour, shop and tasting room, you might want to make an afternoon of it…
For more details see HERE.