Aber Falls distills Wales’ first rye whisky

Aber Falls Distillery in north Wales has started production of a rye whisky, believed to be the first time that the spirit has been commercially produced in the country.

John Buchanan, head distiller (left) and James Wright, managing director (right) observing the first rye whisky distillation

Aber Falls, billed as north Wales’ first whisky distillery for over 100 years, is making history once again as it begins distilling its first rye whisky.

The spirit will join the distiller’s core portfolio upon maturation. Aber Falls has been producing its new-make spirit since January 2018, with the release of its first whiskies expected in 2020.

Commenting on the landmark, managing director of Aber Falls, James Wright, said:  “Distilling rye whisky marks a significant milestone in the development of Aber Falls’ future whisky portfolio. Our ambition is to build a portfolio which is fit for the next five, 10, 15, 20 years and to unlock new drinking experiences for consumers.

“The addition of a rye whisky allows us to bring into the fold whisky drinkers beginning their journey of experimentation. This versatile liquid is the perfect stepping stone to go onto explore single malts.

“Not only do we want to put Wales on the world whisky map, but we also want Aber Falls to be the home of innovative whiskies. As such, we’re continually experimenting with everything from different types of grains through to our cask selection, in order to deliver new and interesting flavour profiles for whisky lovers.”

The producer has already developed a portfolio of gins and liqueurs, including the recently released small batch Welsh gin, made using water from the Rhaeadr Fawr – the famous Aber Falls waterfall. The gin has floral aromas of lavender and juniper with background notes of peppery spice. Housed in a pretty blue bottle, it is available in Booths stores in northern England, with listings also secured with Ocado and Tesco.

The distillery is currently completing the build of its new visitor centre which will also act as a community hub. On a visit to the distillery last year, Wright also told the drinks business about his plans to encourage more Welsh farmers to grow grain for whisky production.

Aber Falls’ portfolio includes: Welsh small batch gin, Welsh dry gin, an orange marmalade gin, a rhubarb and ginger gin, a violet liqueur, a salted toffee liqueur and a coffee and dark chocolate liqueur.

In December last year, Arbikie Highland Estate based in Arbroath released what it claims is the first rye whisky to be produced in Scotland in 100 years.

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