Aber Falls 2021 Release (1)

Aber Falls, the Halewood Artisanal Spirits-owned single malt Welsh whisky, has failed to make the list of products awarded protected origin status after temporarily moving bottling to Lancashire.

Earlier this week, single malt from four Welsh whiskies joined Scottish and Irish counterparts in being handed protected geographical indication (UK GI) status under the UK’s post-Brexit version of the EU protected designation of origin (PDO) label.

Halewood’s Aber Falls, however, has failed to make the grade after relocating the bottling of its whisky outside of Wales. The approved UK government definition for single malt Welsh whisky states all distilling and bottling is required to take place in the country.

A spokesperson for Halewood said the temporary decision to shift packaging was down to “staff shortages and supply issues” at its bottling site in Wales.

The whisky was still 100% “distilled and matured” in the country, they added. 

The bottling of Aber Falls is currently taking place at Halewood’s Chorley production site. The distillery is where production of Halewood’s JJ Whitley vodka brand was moved to following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.

Bottling of Halewood’s Whitley Neill gin and Dead Man’s Fingers rum also take place at the Chorley facility. 

The spokesperson said Halewood was “in the process of” moving Aber Falls bottling back to Wales and will subsequently apply for UK GI status. The distiller has not yet set a time frame for this to take place, however.

The UK’s version of the EU’s PDO label has been introduced by the British government to protect regional products such as Cornish pasties and Gower lamb from imitation following Brexit.

Presently, UK GI status only protects registered name products sold in Great Britain and not those sold in the EU or Northern Ireland.

The four Welsh distilleries to have gained UK GI status so far are: Coles, Da Mhile, In the Welsh Wind and Penderyn.