Rural tourism isn't just about quaint B&Bs and walks in the countryside; it's as much about the products that are made there and are helping to promote the area to consumers. Think about how many people trek to Grasmere in the Lake District every year, just for a slice of (arguably the best ever) gingerbread.
- Rural Travel Guide
One such business is Aber Falls Whisky Distillery founded last year by James Wright, a spirits distribution specialist, and is the first distillery of its kind to open in the area for more than 100 years. Its philosophy is to encompass Welsh heritage into everything it does - from its beautiful branding featuring its own unique trinity knot, down to the location of the distillery itself.
It sits at the foot of the Aber Falls waterfall, in the picturesque village of Abergwyngregyn, so is never in short supply of one of its key ingredients - fresh water.
And to make its range of hand-crafted spirits, James built his own copper stills and has sourced a host of sustainable ingredients and Welsh-inspired botanicals, including Anglesey Sea Salt from Halen Môn.
Its single malt whisky, made using Welsh malted barley will be available from 2020, whilst a range of premium spirits which launched in November include Orange Marmalade or Rhubarb and Ginger Gin, as well a range of liqueurs flavoured with Salted Toffee, Violet (think Parma Violets) and Coffee and Dark Chocolate.
James said: “We are very excited to have resurrected the proud tradition of distilling in North Wales, following a 100-year absence. Our team of distillers, all of whom are local to Aber Falls, are extremely passionate about the new distillery and have been able to produce liquids of the highest craftsmanship.
"Community is important to us, so it was paramount we stay true to our roots and work closely with local producers to ensure we truly encapsulate the spirit, tastes and aromas of North Wales.”
To build on its ethics and support similar rural businesses, the distillery is working alongside local farmers to grow the finest Welsh barley, ensuring to use the most authentic and highest quality ingredients, while also supporting the area’s economy and being a keystone in promoting Wales.
An exciting parcel arrived at the Rural Travel Guide HQ just before Christmas. It chinked when rattled in a very satisfying way and we were delighted to open it to find a selection of sample bottles from Aber Falls. We've added a few images to our Instagram story so you can take a look...
And it's great to have seen some buzz around the brand on social media from the likes of The Gin to My Tonic.
All we can say is Rhubarb and Ginger Gin - where have you been all our lives? Check out their website (which can be viewed in English or Welsh) for perfect serve and cocktail ideas.