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The story behind Penderyn’s branding – Glenn Tutssel

To give you an idea of what went into the creation of Penderyn’s branding, we’ve asked the man behind it, Glenn Tutssel, to explain how it all came about:
My first introduction to Penderyn came when I met Brian Morgan, who at the time was chairman of the distillery. I’d been designing alcohol packaging for many years, and when I learned that a group of entrepreneurs had bought a still and wanted to create a whisky business – the only one built in Wales – I offered to get involved.

When I was asked to look at the whisky’s packaging, I told the board that deciding on packaging would be one of the easier tasks ahead of them, and that they should first try to discover what sort of company they wanted to be and find out if there was a market for it. The first thing that I did was create four positioning concepts for them looking at different approaches to their brand – one based on rarity, one on old Wales, looking at the legend of Arthur and Merlin; one on Welsh gold and how precious it is and one on natural resources such as Welsh water.

As those familiar with the packaging will know, the story of Aur Cymru (or Welsh Gold) that is used in the rings of the Kings and Queens of England came out as the favourite option. From this concept we started to look at how this would reflect on our branding.

We put together two mood boards: one that showed old Celtic Wales with dragons, miners, Welsh hats and old Welsh architecture; while the other one was about modern Wales with new Welsh architecture, young Welsh rock bands and none of the old trappings. Modernity won.

Penderyn whisky is a modern whisky – produced using a one-of-a-kind still designed by Dr David Faraday – and we felt that the packaging should reflect this. We also judged that people didn’t need another “old” whisky, with the same appearance as a Scotch; rather, there was an appetite for something new that reflected modern Wales.


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