Nc'nean is relatively new, being founded in March 2017 by Annabel Thomas. It was the first fully organic distillery in Scotland, powered by 100% renewable energy!
The name is pronounced 'nook- knee-anne', an abbreviation of Neachneohain, a witch-queen in Scots Gaelic folklore.
In keeping with its sustainable mission, the wood chips for the biomass boiler are sourced from a local forest, and all by-products are recycled as animal and plant feed on the distillery's estate.
This single malt is produced entirely from organic Scottish barley (sourced from Bairds Malt) and is matured in 65% STR (shaved, toasted and re-charred) red wine casks and 35% ex-bourbon casks. Thanks to a long mash time, slow fermentation, and the use of unusual yeast strains, this whisky is an interesting one to explore!
The sample I tried was distilled in May, September & October 2017, producing a total of 5040 bottles. The yeast used in the fermentation was Anchor and Fermentis. The casks used were, as I said, 65% STR Red Wine and 35% Ex-Bourbon. The whisky was emptied from the barrel on 11/03/2021 and bottled between 23/03/2021 and 28/05/2021. It is 46%, non-chill filtered, and has a natural colour (nothing added).
How do I know all this? In a refreshing move, Nc'Nean publishes the details of each batch on the website as part of its transparency pledge. I love this and hope to see more whisky brands open about the liquid they provide. You can have a look at their batch info HERE.