A FATHER-AND-SON duo are set to launch the first-ever Welsh bourbon.

Award-winning distillers Andy and Rhys Mallows are set to open a new £5 million state-of-the-art distillery in Llantrisant.

The purpose-built 30,000 square foot distillery will undertake contract bottling for global brands as well as manufacturing Mallows' own branded spirits.

The facility can process up to 12,000 bottles an hour with product lines set to be distributed to worldwide locations. 

Among the spirits rolling off the production line will be the first-ever Welsh bourbon, 'Charlie Parry's'.

Named in honour of Rhys' late grandfather, the bourbon is stored in virgin American oak barrels for two years before being shipped to Wales. It is then blended with Welsh water to create a 40 per cent ABV liquor with sweet vanilla, caramel and toffee undertones.

The team says that pre-sale orders and interest from around the world has been "phenomenal".

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Andy said: "Opening our new distillery is the culmination of a lifelong dream for us.

“We have developed a range of innovative artisan spirits, which we are looking forward to exporting to many territories globally.

“We have already secured contracts to supply retailers in the USA, France, Australia and Poland, and there is a massive amount of interest in our Charlie Parry's bourbon.”

Andy and Rhys, who between them have scooped over 300 awards for drinks they have created, believe the market for bourbon in Wales is ripe, with historical connections with the spirit still largely going untold.

"Many people are unaware of the many Welsh links to traditional Bourbon,” Andy continued.

“Jack Daniels' grandmother is said to be from Wales, while Evan Williams Bourbon were originally from Pembroke before emigrating to the USA.

“It's long been an ambition of ours to create the first-ever truly Welsh bourbon, and it's very exciting to see that dream come to fruition.

“We char the bourbon barrels to release the colour and sweetness, a process known in the industry as "blowing dragon's breath" into the barrels, before adding Welsh water to give it a distinctly Welsh twist.

"We have named the bourbon in memory of my late father-in-law, who was a wonderful man and a big bourbon fan.

“One of his stories that always stuck with me is how, at the age of 16, he used his first pay packet from Newport Docks to buy socks for children in his street. His generosity of spirit is something we wanted to honour, so we will be giving the first 12 bottles from every batch to Welsh charities to auction.”

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Mallows Bottling is assisted by the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme, which provides targeted support for growing firms. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

The company are currently recruiting for several key roles at the new distillery, with a plan to create 29 skilled jobs in production, accounting, engineering and quality control in the first year.

  • This article originally appeared on our sister site The National.