Penderyn Distillery, Wales’ leading whisky distillery – famous for its “Single Malt Welsh Whisky” is celebrating a landmark third “Gold” VAQAS award from Visit Wales in light of its continued tourism efforts.
Penderyn’s new £15 million Swansea distillery is the third of the brand’s flagship locations to receive the VAQAS accolade, meaning it’s now three for three – as their Llandudno and Brecon Beacons sites have also received the award in recent years.
For Penderyn Swansea, achieving VAQAS Gold status is particularly notable, as the site has only been open in the city since mid-July. In the space of a month, the distillery has welcomed and wowed Visit Wales enough to earn its top gong.
“Gaining the VAQAS Gold from Visit Wales is probably the highest honour one can get for leisure and tourism cross-country,” says Stephen Davies, CEO of Penderyn. “We’re honoured to have been recognised for a third time!”
“The fact Penderyn Swansea has earned Gold status within a month of opening is a testament to how hard our teams are working. Our Swansea distillery has been a labour of love from planning to launch, and it’s great our hard efforts are already getting recognised.”
Davies and the Penderyn team are not ones to rest on their laurels. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the distillery brand pivoted to bring distanced tastings to whisky lovers and pressed on with plans to launch sites in Llandudno and Swansea amid chaos and confusion plaguing other Welsh tourism sites.
It was a series of gambles that is really paying off. Penderyn has established itself as the premier whisky purveyor from coast to border, and it’s thanks to its strategic launch planning and tireless marketing and distillery teams.
Penderyn’s Swansea distillery opened in July 2023, offering tours, tastings and insight into their unique distillation process. Moreover, it’s a great chance for visitors to learn how the brand makes some of its best-loved bottlings, such as the award-winning “Rhiannon”, from its “Icons of Wales” range.
Penderyn’s no stranger to winning awards, having swept international spirits competitions and panels over the past few years. It’s a whisky brand synonymous with uniqueness as much as it is quality – and its tourism locations are catching up with the company’s international prowess, fast.
“Penderyn Distillery has always been about producing premium single malt whiskies from Wales” says Davies. “No matter how far our bottlings travel, we keep home in our hearts – we want to show the world what we can do.”
“Branching out into Llandudno and Swansea are just two steps we’re making to show how much Wales means to our brand. We started in the Brecon Beacons, and it was only a matter of time before we ventured cross-country.”
From humble beginnings in the Brecon Beacons, Penderyn has cemented its place as one of the best-loved single malt brands both at home and abroad. The distillery has produced whiskies for special occasions and purposes, too, such as Wales reaching the finals of the football World Cup for the second time ever.
This is a brand that isn’t afraid to take bold steps to bring new tastes and textures to whisky fans across Wales and around the world. Its pivoting during the pandemic and persistence to open new sites in Llandudno and Swansea have paid off thus far – and it’s safe to say Davies and his team are likely to have a few more tricks up their sleeves in the months to come.
Partnerships, awards, new bottlings – it’s an exciting time to be a Penderyn fan. Whisky aficionados local to Swansea can also now head to the nearby distillery to tour the facilities and learn more about the science behind the single malts.
“People don’t just want to drink our whiskies,” says Davies. “They want to know about how they’re made – from ingredients to bottling. We’ve always been open about what we do behind the scenes – and it’s fantastic to see our Swansea team already reaping rewards.”
Penderyn Swansea Copperworks Distillery is now open to visit and visitors can book via the Penderyn website to join one of their distillery tours or an interactive masterclass experience for an in-depth look into the making of their award-winning whisky. They also offer tailor made packages for corporate groups, alongside corporate hire of their outstanding facilities too, so there’s something to suit everyone.