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BBC Wales's Miles Fletcher
"Legend has it the temperance movement put paid to Wales's spirits industry with the likes of Jack Daniels moving to the US."
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Monday, 6 March, 2000, 16:04 GMT
Rebirth of Wales's spirit industry
Whisky
Lots of Scotch, but any room on the shelf for Welsh whisky?
The first commercial distillery in Wales for more than a century is nearing completion.

The newly-formed Welsh Whisky Company is hoping to produce a thousand bottles of spirits a day.

Legend has it that the temperance movement put paid to Wales's spirits industry- with distillers like the families of Jack Daniels and Evan Williams leaving for America where their brand names continue to this day.

Now the Welsh Whisky Company aims to establish a third Celtic presence in a market dominated by the Irish and the Scots.

Visitor centre

It is investing 1m in a full-scale commercial distillery and visitor centre on the edge of the Brecon Beacons at Hirwaun near Aberdare.

Natalie Roberts, an expert from the University of Surrey, has designed the still - said to be unique in the industry.

"It's a lot more flexible so it can be used not only to produce whisky but it can also be used to produce brandy and vodka-type products," she said.

But the lengthy maturing process means it will be about three years before any product hits the shops.

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See also:

25 Jan 00 |  Wales
Welsh rival to Burns Night
25 Sep 99 |  Scotland
A modern-day tale of Whisky Galore
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