Welsh whisky gains protected status under UKGI scheme

Single Malt Welsh Whisky has been officially registered under the UK Geographical Indication scheme – the first new spirit to be protected in this way since the scheme was created in 2021.

UK Geographical Indication (UKGI) labelling was established following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and ensures certain food and drink products can continue to receive legal protection against imitation and misuse.

The application for UKGI status was made by a collective of four Welsh distilleries – Penderyn, In the Welsh Wind, Da Mhile, and Coles.

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Single Malt Welsh Whisky is now the 20th member of the Welsh GI “family”, joining other selected produce such as Anglesey Sea Salt, Gower Salt March Lamb, Welsh Beef and Welsh Leeks.

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show on Monday (24 July), Defra secretary Therese 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 UKGI scheme.

“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.”

Welsh secretary David TC Davies said attaining UKGI status would help distillers market this “fantastic product” around the world, while consumers would know they are buying a unique product “entirely made and bottled in Wales”.

About the product

Dating back to 1887, Single Malt Welsh Whisky is made using malted barley and water of 100% Welsh origin.

Production has expanded rapidly in recent years, since the revival and relaunch of a Single Malt Welsh Whisky product by Penderyn distillery in March 2004.

Single Malt Welsh Whisky makes a significant contribution to the food and drink economy of Wales, currently being exported to more than 45 countries.

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