One of Wales’s largest independent spirits distilleries has reached an agreement with Swansea-based Cygnet Distillery to produce its range of award-winning gins.
Hensol Castle Distillery, in South Wales, will now produce Cygnet Dry, Cygnet Pinc and Cherry Drop gin, as well as Cygnet Distillery’s custom-branded spirits. These include Mr White’s Gin, which was released in June 2021 for Marco Pierre White and his restaurant chain.
Cygnet Distillery’s master distiller, Dai Wakely, and his team of two distillers are also relocating to Hensol Castle Distillery in a move that will expand production for both businesses. They will be responsible for producing all of the gins and spirits made at Hensol Castle Distillery.
Cygnet Distillery was established in 2018 when it launched its range of hand-crafted gins. These went on to win a multitude of awards including Gold at the Blind Spirits Tastings 2021 and Gold at the Spirits Business Gin Masters in 2021. With all production now relocating to Hensol Castle Distillery, the production volume of the Cygnet range of gins can be increased without compromising on quality.
Chris Leeke, managing director of Hensol Castle Distillery, said:
“We are excited to welcome Dai Wakely and his team to Hensol Castle Distillery and to start producing the portfolio of Cygnet gins, which will remain under the Cygnet brand. We have a shared ambition of not only creating award-winning spirits that we can be proud of but also bringing a taste of Wales to the rest of the UK”.
Thirty-six year old master distiller, Dai Wakely, has built a name for himself commercially having won numerous industry awards for the quality of his products.
“I’ve been watching what’s happening at Hensol Castle Distillery for some time, so to be asked to become the facility’s master distiller is a really exciting opportunity for me and my team.
“Hensol Castle Distillery boasts a huge distillation, bottling and labelling facility. As well as producing Hensol Castle Distillery’s current product line and the Cygnet range, we’re also looking to develop a new portfolio of flavoured gins and other spirits under a new brand.”
Hensol Castle Distillery is South Wales’s first full-scale gin and spirits distillery and contract bottling plant. It started production in spring 2019 and has enjoyed a successful initial two-years of trading, handling an ever-growing order book for contract bottling and launching an on-trade range of Benjamin Hall gin and vodka and an award-winning Crawshay collection of gins. During the height of the pandemic last year, it also launched TRULO – a reduced calorie range of liqueurs, which have done especially well as people have enjoyed their homemade ‘quarantinis’ during lockdown.
Hensol Castle Distillery’s long-awaited visitor experience and gin school opens to the public in September, with the aim of attracting up to 40,000 visitors per annum. Dai Wakely and his team of two distillers will be responsible for facilitating all gin tours for visitors.
The 400-year old Hensol Castle Distillery sits in more than 650 acres of parkland and is part of the successful four-star Vale Resort – an award-winning spa, golf, conference and hotel complex.