Organic, light and wild
We’re a young, independent, organic whisky distillery on the west coast of Scotland. We exist to create experimental spirits and pioneer sustainable production.
Our story began in 2012: Annabel pondering her future whilst working as a consultant in London. During a whisky road trip came a lightbulb moment: why do so many distilleries do things the same way things have always been done… perhaps there are other ways? Then five years creating a distillery from scratch on a wild, west-coast estate. We started distilling in March 2017 and from the beginning we’ve set out to do things differently, to get people to think again about Scotch. We’re uninhibited by tradition and we’re not afraid to colour outside of the lines.
The first of our experiments to be released, our Botanical Spirit is based on our unaged whisky spirit and redistilled with ten botanicals by our friends, Beinn An Tuirc. Serve with tonic and Angostura bitters or great in cocktails. Buy now.
Set of three aged Botanical Spirits: an exploration of our spirit, cocktail ingredients and barrel ageing. Buy now.
Our name, Nc’nean, is an abbreviation of Neachneohain, the Queen of Spirits in Gaelic legend. We pronounce our name Nc-ne-an, which sounds like Nc-knee-anne. Neachneohain was a huntress: strong, independent and never afraid to walk her own path. A quiet rebel.
Neachneohain was also a fierce protector of nature. We try to follow that ethos in everything we do: we’re the first fully organic distillery in Scotland. We use our own pure spring water. All our energy comes from renewable sources. We recycle waste heat through the warehouses. Our left-over grain feeds the cows on the farm. Nothing is wasted.
We sweat the small stuff too: we serve organic coffee and food, we think carefully about our packaging, we monitor the waste we create and we try to encourage our suppliers and customers to think about what they are doing, too. Where there isn’t a good solution, we try to find partners who can work with us to create one.
Founder and CEO
London girl. Lover of wild places. Caught the whisky bug. Built a distillery. Our very own Neachneohain.
Master Distiller 2012-2017
The late Dr Jim Swan was one of the greats of the whisky industry with 50 years of experience from around the world. He masterminded the design of our distillery and our base whisky recipe – he is greatly missed.
23 years with one of the giants of the industry. A passion for the west coast. Bringing it all together at Nc’nean. Has a life goal to get to work by boat one day.
Came to Drimnin from the east. Has taken to distilling like a duck to water. Often found polishing our spirit safe with Brasso. The queen of our spirits.
Trained as a chef. Has walked the length of New Zealand and the breadth of America. Picked up some bee-keeping skills along the way. Now turning his hand to distilling and chipping.
This free spirited Norfolk gal has a passion for all things environmental and made a bee line to work and settle with us. Likes attempting to get lost, and finding her way to the nearest pub for refuge.
A recent settler from about as far away as you can get from Drimnin. Keeps the show on the road and us all in order. A contender for the biggest and best wardrobe collection on the west coast.
Head of Marketing
Farmer’s daughter and lover of all things foodie. Based in London but her Scottish ties make her feel at home at the Distillery. Idea of a good time includes a hike, two planks under foot and a powdery mountain.
We’re young and independent and this gives us the freedom to experiment. We’re exploring new taste profiles every month, seeing what a small batch whisky can deliver.
Scotland has a long history of experimentation and we believe in following that trail-blazing spirit. We’re using some of the most imaginative distilling ideas from around the world, combined with the best ingredients Scotland has to offer, to create a whisky that’s easy to drink and mix.
We’re trying longer mashing times and slower fermentation and experimenting with yeasts not commonly used in distilling. The high, narrow cut on our still is helping us produce a purer spirit. Our unusual lamp-glass-shaped stills encourage a gentle distillation and significant amounts of reflux, creating a lighter spirit that retains its fruity notes. And we’ve installed temperature controls in our warehouses to create different flavours over time.
Making whisky requires patience and we’re just at the beginning. Our first whisky will be ready in 2020. But if you can’t wait until then, try our Botanical Spirit which represents the first milestone on our journey or buy a whole barrel of whisky.
The distillery is located on the beautiful and wild Drimnin Estate which offers long stretches of coastline, well sign-posted walks and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities (including White Tailed and Golden Eagles, Scottish Wildcat, Pine Martens and Otters). More details about the estate and accommodation options, including a bed and breakfast, are available on the estate website.
Just 12 miles down the road, Lochaline is the main village on the Morvern peninsula. It is served by a regular ferry service to Mull and has more accommodation options, including B&Bs, hotels and the acclaimed Whitehouse restaurant.
We’ve made the difficult decision to stop public tours at the distillery for the next few weeks. As much as we love sharing our passion for all things whisky and sustainability, at the moment our priority must be on the health of our staff, visitors, and the rest of the country. If you want to book for the future, or have questions please email us.
For those of you planning visits in the future, we will reopen as soon as we can with our normal offering of a morning and an afternoon tour Monday-Friday, where you can take a look behind the scenes in the distillery, taste our evolving spirit and admire the wonderful views with coffee and cake.
Once a week, you can visit us by Sealink water-taxi from Tobermory. You can find the crossing dates and times here for the rest of 2020. If you are coming from Mull there are also regular ferries that run from Fishnish to Lochaline seven days a week (timetable is here). If you are coming on your own boat we have a mooring for boats in a beautiful bay below the distillery. It is suitable for boats up to 45ft to use at your own risk. If you’d like to use the mooring please call us, or there are pontoons in Lochaline (a 30 minute drive).
Tours Available Fully Booked
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