About Nc'nean


Nc’nean is an award winning small, independent, organic whisky distillery based on the wild and beautiful west coast of Scotland. Nc’nean began distilling in March 2017 and from inception has strived to do things differently. Their small team are on a mission to produce innovative and delicious spirits which can exist in harmony with the planet. The Nc’nean ethos of sustainable production is embedded in everything it does. It is Scotland’s leading organic whisky distillery and uses only renewable sources for its energy. The leftover grain feeds the cows on the farm and the waste products are spread on the fields as fertiliser. Nothing is wasted.

The distillery is certified organic and only sources organic Scottish barley for its production. Nc’nean believes biodiversity is key to a healthy planet and is resolute that regenerative organic agriculture is the best way to increase biodiversity, protect water, sequester carbon, and improve soil health. 



Forward Thinking Whisky

Uninhibited by tradition, Nc’nean uses longer mashing times, slower fermentation and experiments with unusual yeasts not commonly used within whisky distilling. It currently produces an Organic Single Malt whisky and a Botanical Spirit made from a barley spirit base with local foraged botanicals. 

Smooth and elegant, with flavours of citrus, peach, apricot and spice, their easy-going single malt whisky makes a big impression for young whisky. The organic Scottish barley’s natural yields and rich soils where it was grown contributes to the depth of flavour. Their gentle fermentation and distillation accentuate the delicate, fruity flavours in the spirit. The whisky is matured in specially treated red wine and American whiskey barrels to develop the spirit’s signature body and sweetness. 

Each bottle is certified organic, made in their verified net zero distillery (for scopes 1 and 2), and bottled in a 100% recycled glass bottle. It has also recently won a double gold award in the highly regarded San Francisco World Spirits Competition and won Great Taste Award 2021. 



Their Botanical Spirit is beyond gin, an experimental, boundary pushing spirit with echoes of Scotch whisky’s past. Made using 100% organic Scottish barley spirit, with a total of ten botanicals are a mix of traditional gin flavours with locally foraged plants to create a rich and floral spirit. Their ten botanicals include thyme, sorrel, chamomile, heather, bog myrtle, juniper, coriander, angelica, liquorice, and grapefruit. It’s the flavours of the barley spirit that really makes the difference adding a malty, fruity undertone that plays exceptionally well with the chosen botanicals. Perfect with tonic or in any classic gin cocktail.



Made by Nature, Not by Rules

The Distillery was founded by Annabel Thomas, a former strategy consultant who grew up in Essex and she spent her childhood summers making the 12-hour journey to family holidays on the West Coast of Scotland. It was through these magical journeys of expectation and experiences of the mountains, the views, and the sea, that Annabel fell in love with Scotland.

Passionate about whisky, the inspiration for Nc’nean came from a combination of two things. It began with a trip to Islay where Annabel witnessed first-hand how many Scottish distilleries do things in a very similar way and often the way things had always been done. This left her wondering if there was any scope to do things differently. The second was the location itself – Annabel’s parents bought the land that the distillery is on more than 10 years ago – an area of Scotland that is wild, beautiful and in many ways perfect for a whisky distillery. From these beginnings, Annabel started to develop the idea to create a whisky distillery that practices another of her great passions - sustainability. The Nc’nean whisky distillery was born: a distillery Made by Nature, Not by Rules.



Leading the way in Sustainable Production

Being pioneering, Nc’nean has become the first whisky distillery in the UK to reach net zero emissions for its own operations (scope 1 and 2) in 2021, beating the Scotch whisky industry target of 2040 by 20 years. The Net zero status has been accomplished by powering Nc'nean with 100% renewable energy and offsetting the remaining few emissions. 

The distillery uses woodchip from a commercial forest two miles from the distillery to power its biomass boiler, which in turn heats its copper stills. All trees are replanted to continue the cycle. The small amount of electricity that is used is 100% renewable and verified zero carbon. The residual carbon emissions have been offset via a sustainable forest planting project with a verified carbon standard hallmark. 

They are also bucking the industry trend of using ‘extra-flint’ (super clear) glass for premium spirits. Its single malt is bottled in a 100% recycled clear glass bottle which reduces each bottle's carbon footprint by a staggering 40% and reuses raw materials in line with the circular economy - another tick in the box for conscious consumers. 

But Nc’nean’s sustainability credentials don’t stop with carbon emissions. 

This ethos is evident throughout the business with its commitment to zero waste - 99.97% of waste is recycled or reused. Leftover barley (draff) is fed to the cows on the farm. Specifically designed to use 80% less water than a traditional distillery, Nc’nean’s cooling water is continuously recycled via a natural cooling pond, which means the distillery can use the same water over and over without the need to use energy to cool it down, or chemicals to keep it clean.




Joining Movement to Reinvent Business 

In January this year, Nc’nean gained certification as a B Corporation (or B Corp), doubling the number of Scotch whisky distilleries in the UK holding the certification and joining a growing group of companies reinventing business by pursuing purpose as well as profits. Nc’nean achieved an extremely high score of 135.6, with major points received in the environmental impact area, reflecting the brand’s stellar efforts to exist in harmony with the planet. 



You can find more about Nc’nean by visiting their website and follow the distillery on Instagram and Facebook.