A distillery claiming to be Scotland’s first fully organic whisky distillery has officially opened, three months after starting production.
The Ncn’ean distillery, which occupies former farm buildings on the remote Drimnin Estate on the Morvern peninsular in Argyll overlooking Tobermory and the Sound of Mull, claims to be the first organic distillery in Scotland. It will locally grown organic barley and spring water to make its “experimental” whiskies, it said.
In addition to its organic status, the distillery has been designed to use green electricity that is generated on the estate from a hydro-river scheme, and re-uses waste heat through the warehouse. The by-products of the distillation process will be used as feed and fertiliser for the estates farms.
According to Scotchwhisky.com the distillery will produce just under 100,000 litres of pure alcohol each year, and is set to release its first batch of “young, light” whisky in 2020. However next month it is launching an offer whereby 60 members of the public will be able to buy a barrel that yields 300 bottles, for around £3,000 each.
The distillery, which as designed by master-distiller Dr Jim Swan received investment from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and a £431,291 grant through the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant scheme, last year, db’s sister publication, The Spirit Business reported.
Speaking to The Spirit Business at the time, CEO Annabel Thomas, whose parents bought the estate in 2002, said the distillery would offer “something a little bit different to consumers around the world”, which included experimenting with yeasts not commonly used for whisky production, and maturing the whiskies in casks previously used for Bourbon and red wine.
Thomas’s small team comprises distillery manager Gordon Young, alongside two distillers, Lorna Davidson and Reay White.
The distillery has been named after Neachneohain, an independent huntress from Gaelic folklore who was know as the ‘Queen of the Spirits’.