The name Nc’nean (pronounced Nc-ne-an, which sounds like Nc-knee-anne) comes from Neachneohain, the Queen of Spirits in Gaelic legend. Neachneohain was a huntress: strong, independent and never afraid to walk her own path. A quiet rebel. She was also a fierce protector of nature.
Annabel started Nc’nean to change the way the world thinks about whisky from Scotland. Her mission was to create a whisky which could exist in harmony with this planet we call home. After leaving her job in London in 2013, she spent four years raising funds and building the distillery from the ground up on the west coast of Scotland. They been distilling since 2017 and they just launched their first ever single malt whisky in 2020.
Nc’nean was founded as the first fully organic modern distillery in Scotland powered by 100% renewable energy. The wood chips for the biomass boiler are sourced from a local forest, while all by-products are recycled as animal and plant feed on Drimin Estate where the distillery is located.
The distillery employs long mashes times and slower fermentation with varying yeast strains not commonly used in distillation. The unusual lamp-glass-shaped stills with have horizontal lyne arms and shell and tube condensers produce a light and fruity spirit, something the brand worked to achieve with the late distilling consultant Jim Swan, who “masterminded the design of the distillery and the base whisky recipe”. The new-make is rich, malty and has plenty of stone fruit. Two dunnage warehouses, located on the hill behind the distillery, feature temperature regulators to allow Nc’nean greater control over the flavour generated in cask over time.