Whisky is one of the most popular drinks in the world, but to celebrate World Whisky Day (Saturday, May 18) we’re looking at how North Wales is playing its part in the global industry.

So often when it comes to whisky, Scotland or Ireland comes to mind, but Wales is responsible for producing some of the best and most delicious whiskies on the market, and it is taking the world by storm.

Although whisky was allegedly made in Wales as far back as the Middle Ages, the modern Welsh whisky industry could be described as the underdog compared to other markets.

It was only in 2023 that many Welsh distilleries were awarded with protected geographical indication (UK GI) status – the scheme brought in to replace the EU’s protected designation of origin label.

Regardless, by achieving UK GI status, many Welsh whiskies are now recognised nationally and internationally as being a quality product with a distinct style.

Local Welsh brands, such as Aber Falls Distillery, located on the foothills of Snowdonia in the village of Abergwyngregyn, is a key player in putting Welsh whisky on the global map. They produce quality single malt whisky using local ingredients and distribute it to 40 countries across the world.

Aber Falls also has a kiosk on Llandudno Pier.

Since its beginning in 2017 and the launch of its inaugural whisky in 2021, Aber Falls Distillery has grown from a small team to a thriving business of nearly 40 employees. As well as sharing its whisky with the world, the Distillery takes great pride in giving back to other local businesses, the North Wales economy, as well as protecting the environment.

Carole Jones, General Manager at Aber Falls Distillery, said: “What makes our Welsh whisky unique is the local produce that we quite literally pour into our products. We use Welsh malted barley and rock-filtered water from the Aber Falls waterfall, so our practices are hugely sustainable. Our unique setting in the foothills of the Snowdonia mountains and the Menai Straight also offers a remote microclimate, creating the ideal conditions to influence the character of the whisky – it’s unlike any other in the world.”

She continues: “We bring the world to us on the coastline of North Wales by importing a combination of wooden barrels, including American and European oak, Spanish Sherry, virgin oak and orange wine casks. Then we export the whisky internationally, sharing the spirit of North Wales with the rest of the world.”

Aber Falls’ products can be purchased online, in most major supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury’s, and visitors can pick up products directly from the distillery gift shop and the brand’s shop on Llandudno Pier.

Those looking to learn more about Welsh whisky and Aber Falls Whisky can visit the distillery for a guided whisky tour or visit www.aberfallsdistillery.com.