Origin: Highlands (Scotland
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Red Wine STR
Added coloring: No
Owner: Nc’nean Distillery
Average price: € 55.00
Official website: ncnean.com
Nc’nean (the queen of spirits according to Gaelic mythology) has been the talk of the town for belonging to the new wave of distilleries with a natural approach to whisky production.
Annabel Thomas has very clear ideas in this regard: organic cultivation, sustainable production and total transparency in the production of the distillate. And on this last point she has already had occasion to clash with the legislation in force for Scotch (as has already happened to Compass Box), which in fact restricts the possibility of fully revealing the composition of whiskies.
Bottles made from recycled glass, as well as recycled cardboard for the packaging, with an elegant and sophisticated style and a large majority of female staff, Nc’nean in the words of its founder “uses some of the most imaginative ideas from around the world, with the best ingredients Scotland has to offer. We aim to create a spirit that is fruity, smooth and easy to drink and mix. We use longer maceration times and slower fermentation, experimenting with less common yeasts in distillation.”
August saw the release of their first whisky, Ainnir, followed closely by Organic’s Batch 1, while this third batch is very recent, bottled from September 2020 (three years of ageing then) and released in November.
All three bottlings were distilled in the first half of 2017, and all were aged in the same way: 65% in ex-Red Wine shaved, toasted and re-charred casks and 35% in ex-Bourbon casks.
5,040 bottles as in the first batch, when they will be sold out (presumably in a short time, given how quickly the first ones were burnt), it isn’t yet known if a fourth batch will be made.
Light gold in the glass.
The nose is greeted by fragrant aromas of sultanas, peaches, plums, baked cream (somewhat reminiscent of Far Breton cake), almonds, honey, lemon drop. Caressing wood in the background. Young and round.
A light and tantalizing peppery note punctuates the palate, distributed over spicy tones (cinnamon and touches of anise), ripe fruit (plums, peaches, mango), cooked (apple) and candied (citrus), sweet liquorice, vanilla, honey. Tendency of the wood to emerge over time, including a certain astringency.
Medium long and dry finish of wood, citrus, anise, spices.
A young whisky that perhaps pays the price for the heavy influence of the wine casks, with some edges to smooth out, but still manages to be enjoyable and full-bodied, even though it still lacks a real personality. There is a long way to go, we are just at the beginning, but for now they have earned my trust.