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English and Welsh whisky soaring

Published:  14 June, 2019

English and Welsh whisky makers are struggling to keep up with demand thanks to “enormous interest” from spirits drinkers, according to the WSTA.

It said the “ginnaisance” had attracted a "whole new audience of people keen to try new spirit experiences, meaning investors have been more willing to invest in craft distilleries allowing an English and Welsh whisky market to emerge".

Dan Szor, founder of Cotswolds Distillery, said he had upped production to meet demand. “We are now listed in Waitrose and approaching 1,000 Greene King Pubs, testament to the fact that major retailers in both the on and off-trade see this as a category to back. Our whisky is now available in 31 countries globally, from a standing start in October 2018, and we have increased our bottling by 25% in 2019 to keep up with demand.”

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said the UK spirits industry is a “real success story and Britain now boasts 361 distilleries with a wave of exciting new Welsh and English distillery projects. Our innovative and skilled spirit makers should be encouraged to invest and increase production, so the Chancellor can start by redressing the UK’s excessively high duty rates.

Some consumers would be surprised to hear that they pay a whopping £8.05 on duty per 700ml bottle of whisky at 40% abv, he added. "We hope the next Chancellor, whoever that may be, supports our great British distiller’s by reducing duty rates.”

Today, there are at least 20 distilleries across England and Wales producing whisky.