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Award-winning distillers to launch first-ever Welsh bourbon from new £5M Llantrisant distillery

Award-winning distillers Andy and Rhys Mallows are to open a new £5M state-of-the-art distillery in South Wales. The father-and-son duo, who co-own Mallows Bottling, are also set to launch the first-ever Welsh bourbon whiskey alongside a range of premium artisan spirits.

The purpose-built 30,000 square foot distillery will undertake contract bottling for global brands as well as manufacturing Mallows’ own branded spirits. The facility can process up to 12,000 bottles an hour, ranging from 5cl to 3 litre bottles, with product lines set to be distributed to worldwide locations.

Amongst the spirits rolling off the production line will be the first-ever Welsh bourbon, ‘Charlie Parry’s’. Named in honour of Rhys’ late grandfather – and Andy’s father-in-law – the bourbon is stored in virgin American oak barrels for two years before being shipped to Wales. Here it is blended with Welsh water to create a 40% ABV liquor with sweet vanilla, caramel and toffee undertones. The team says that pre-sale orders and interest from around the world has been “phenomenal”.

Contract bottling will form 90% of the output of Mallows Distillery by volume, while the remaining 10% will consist of Mallows’ own branded line of gins, rums, whiskey and liquers.

Andy and Rhys, who between them have scooped over 300 awards for drinks they have created, are currently recruiting for several key roles at the new distillery. The pair plan to create 29 skilled jobs in production, accounting, engineering and quality control in the first year.

Mallows Bottling is assisted by the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP), which provides targeted support for ambitious growing firms. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Andy Mallows, co-owner of Mallows Bottling, said:

“Opening our new distillery is the culmination of a lifelong dream for us. We have developed a range of innovative artisan spirits, which we are looking forward to exporting to many territories globally. We have already secured contracts to supply retailers in the USA, France, Australia and Poland, and there is a massive amount of interest in our Charlie Parry’s bourbon.

“Many people are unaware of the many Welsh links to traditional Bourbon. Jack Daniels’ grandmother is said to be from Wales, while Evan Williams Bourbon were originally from Pembroke before emigrating to the USA. It’s long been an ambition of ours to create the first-ever truly Welsh bourbon, and it’s very exciting to see that dream come to fruition. We char the bourbon barrels to release the colour and sweetness, a process known in the industry as “blowing dragon’s breath” into the barrels, before adding Welsh water to give it a distinctly Welsh twist.

“We have named the bourbon in memory of my late father-in-law, who was a wonderful man and a big bourbon fan. One of his stories that always stuck with me is how, at the age of 16, he used his first pay packet from Newport Docks to buy socks for children in his street. His generosity of spirit is something we wanted to honour, so we will be giving the first 12 bottles from every batch to Welsh charities to auction. We hope to raise much needed money for good causes over the coming years. We couldn’t think of a better way to honour Charlie’s memory.”

Since signing up to the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP), Mallows Bottling has received mentoring and specialist advice on digital marketing and HR. This support has proved “invaluable” according to Rhys Mallows:

“The support we have accessed through the Accelerated Growth Programme has been phenomenal. Our relationship manager Howard Jones understands the scale of our ambition and has matched us with the support we need to match that ambition. We are very grateful for the help we have received and would recommend the programme to any business with serious growth ambitions.”

Richard Morris of the Excelerator Consortium, which delivers the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme, said:

“The team at Mallows Bottling combine valuable industry know-how with innovative thinking, and I’m sure that their Welsh bourbon will capture imaginations around the world. The significant investment in the new distillery marks an exciting new chapter for this award-winning team, and we predict a bright future for this business.”