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Wales to welcome £7m Hensol Castle Distillery

Specialist spirits firm Bottlers and Distillers Wales has revealed plans to build a £7 million (US$8.8m) distillery and visitor centre at Hensol Castle in south Wales, which will open later this year.

The 17th century Hensol Castle is located in the grounds of the Vale Resort hotel

Bottlers and Distillers Wales (B&D Wales) has partnered with the Vale Resort hotel in Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, where the 400-year-old castle is located, to build the full-scale distillery

The site will be constructed in the basement of the 17th century castle and will comprise a distillery, bottling plant, bonded warehouse, visitors experience and gin school. It will include the development of the Hensol Castle branded portfolio and a white labelling function.

The project is expected to create up to 120 jobs over the next three years.

The venture is led by B&D Wales managing director Andy Mallows, his son Rhys Mallows and Vale Resort directors Stephen Leeke and Mike Fowler. Welsh entrepreneur Andy Mallows was the CEO of Dutch spirits producer Toorank until he stepped down from the role in January 2018.

Mallows aims to cement “Wales onto the global spirits scene” and bring to market “innovative and high-quality drinks brands that reflect a rich tapestry of Welsh heritage”.

“I’d always dreamt of building a first-class distilling facility in south Wales and our partnership with the Vale Resort team over the last two years has made this possible,” said Andy Mallows.

“Hensol Castle is without question a beautiful and historic setting and together with Vale Resort we are building a modern distillery and bottling plant that will produce five million bottles PCY of quality Welsh spirits from gin and vodka to rum and other NPDs (new product development).”

The distillery will produce a series of “entry-point, mid-level and premium-quality gins, vodkas and other spirits”. The site will also create a low-alcohol range.

The company’s ambition is to bring the spirits to both the on- and off-trade, as well as wholesalers and cash and carry channels nationally and into export markets in the future.

“We’re so spoilt here at Hensol Castle, we have an abundance of natural resources to draw upon from our own spring water to rare botanicals,” Mallows continued.

“In addition, the history and stories that live and breathe in the castle walls are proving an amazing source of inspiration for the brands we’re developing.”

Leeke added: “This is a hugely exciting development at the Vale Resort, the spirits industry is a great sector and I’m thrilled that we’ve weaved this into the overall redevelopment of Hensol Castle.

“The plans for the visitor experience and gin school are very inclusive and are sure to boost the castle’s reputation as one of the premier destinations in south Wales.”

The Hensol Castle Distillery will join a small number of Welsh producers, including Halewood International-owned Aber Falls – north Wales’s first whisky distillery for more than 100 years – and whisky producer Penderyn, which will open its second distillery and visitor centre in Swansea in 2021.

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