Penderyn triples production capacity

18th September, 2015 by Kristiane Sherry

Welsh whisky distillery Penderyn has tripled its production capacity with the installation of a mash tun, washbacks and three new stills – the result of a £1 million investment.

Penderyn's Stephen Davies alongside one of the new pot stills.

Penderyn’s Stephen Davies alongside one of the new pot stills.

Founded in 2000, the distillery was initially built with one custom-made “Faraday” still which makes around 90,000 litres of alcohol per year. The still, described as a copper pot/column hybrid, produces 92% abv spirit, thought to be the highest in the industry.

A twin Faraday still was installed in 2013, shortly after the initial investment was announced, with a pair of pot stills added last year. As a result, Penderyn’s total output has the potential to reach 300,000 litres per year.

“It was a big decision for us, should we put a pair of pot stills in,” Penderyn managing director Stephen Davies told The Spirits Business at a distillery visit earlier this week.

“Putting them in will allow us to experiment and innovate with heavier spirit for the future. The spirit is heavier, oilier and will probably take longer to mature – but it’s at the lightest end of what a pot still can produce.”

The 2,500-litre, shallow line-arm pot stills take 5.5-6 hours to run each batch, and produce spirit at 70-73% abv.

All liquid is currently casked and matured separately, but may be blended at a later date. The current priority, said Davies, is simply laying down stock.

In addition, Penderyn has also installed a mash tun and a full set of stainless steel washbacks, enabling it to produce its own wash for the first time.

Previously the distillery bought in its wash from the nearby Brains brewery.

Now that the distillery handles the entire production process post-malting, “the hope would be that we can make improvements to the spirit quality by making minor adjustments to the process”, Davies continued.

The distillery is currently run six days a week, with the first full year of operation with the new equipment expected to produce 280,000 litres of alcohol.

Penderyn Distillery’s “house style” is a bourbon matured, madeira-finished single malt. It is widely available in the UK and also has a presence in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Taiwan, the US, Canada and travel retail.

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