Nc’nean distillery launches 60 limited edition casks for sale


HERO - Hope Lies In Dreams cask end

Scotland’s leading 100% organic whisky distillery Nc’nean launches 60 limited edition casks to the public – an exciting opportunity to own one of the premium, personalised barrels, filled with spirit distilled in the year of the distillery’s first ever release.

To celebrate the defining year for Nc’nean and to acknowledge the historic importance of 2020, the distillery will stencil each cask with ‘Hope lies in dreams’.

“An acknowledgment of the global changes, challenges and hope that 2020 has come to represent to many” says Annabel Thomas, founder of Nc’nean.

Nc’nean is a young, independent, organic whisky distillery with a strong sustainable ethos and innovative approach to spirit making.

Made by nature, not by rules.

£3,000 – £4,600

Pioneering sustainable production, Nc’nean is excited to launch 60 limited edition casks to the public, with the latest addition of specially selected seasoned sherry casks as well as the previously available ex-Bourbon or STR ex-wine barrels. Each specially chosen to offer a distinct taste derived from active properties in the wood after five to ten years of maturation. The sherry barrel will develop sweet notes of dried fruit and toasted nuts, the perfect balance between sweet and savoury. 

2020 marks a year of new and exciting developments as well as a year of challenge and change at  the distillery, and to celebrate such a defining year, Nc’nean will hand paint ‘Hope lies in dreams’ on each of the limited edition casks.

Annabel Thomas speaks on the limited edition cask release, “2020 has been the most anticipated year for us here at Nc’nean, our whisky release has been in planning and prep for seven years. Like the rest of the world we’ve had to adapt, re-think and do things differently, something we’re well versed in.

A quote which has stuck with me throughout these challenging times is “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality” by influential physician and medical researcher Jonas Salk; so we will be stencilling ‘Hope lies in dreams’ onto the end of each 2020 cask.

We aim to put sustainability at the forefront of all we do here at Nc’nean, and in some ways 2020 feels like the perfect backdrop to driving change in our industry and the world’s approach to nature. 

With our maiden whisky release just months away, we are releasing our next 60 casks as part of our private cask programme and wanted to make them even more special, acknowledging the global shift we’ve seen during 2020. 

Nc’nean is a company which lives by the values of sustainability and diversity in a traditional industry, we hope 2020 and our approach will inspire others to take on the change our society and planet so badly need.” 

Protectors of nature, Nc’nean leads the way within the whisky industry, promoting environmental change in the world of spirits, and challenging the ingrained stereotypes of whisky distilling, bringing diversity and inclusion to the whisky industry. Nc’nean only uses renewable sources for its energy, is certified organic by the Biodynamic Association and is a proud zero waste distillery. Leftover barley feeds cows on the farm and waste pot ale from distilling is spread on local farmland as fertiliser. Nothing is wasted.

The casks are filled with Nc’nean’s 63% ABV new-make spirit which has been distilled in the year of the distillery’s first release, a remarkable moment in the distillery’s journey so far.

Each holding 195 – 220 litres, yielding over 300 bottles at 46% ABV after 5 years. The barrels are priced between £3,000 – £4,600, depending on the selected cask type and initial maturation period.


An exciting new edition this year, seasoned sherry casks are carefully selected to ensure a unique and complex taste once matured. Popular with lovers of fruit forward single malts, each barrel is expected to hold about 360 bottles at 46% ABV after five years.


Ex-Bourbon casks are filled with Nc’nean’s new-make spirit at 63% abv and will hold approximately 195 litres. After the “angel’s share” (natural evaporation), the barrel is expected to hold about 320 bottles at 46% ABV after five years.


Larger than ex-bourbon casks, specially selected ex-wine casks are sourced from premium wineries in the US and Europe and specially treated in Spain or Portugal to improve their characteristics for whisky maturation. All ex-wine casks are STR treated, with the barrel expected to hold about 360 bottles at 46% ABV after five years.


Normally, Nc’nean uses a specific mashing approach, a fruity yeast combination and high cut points to create a whisky that will be perfect for drinking in about five years. Unique to Nc’nean, the distillery also offers a second style of spirit (adjusted mashing, yeast recipes and cut points) to create a whisky that will be perfect in ten years, but will not be ready in five years. This offer includes an additional five years of storage and insurance in the warehouses.

Samples will be taken each year to monitor the maturation and buyers will have the opportunity to extend the period after initial maturation should they wish.

Nc’nean is curious and creative in it’s approach to whisky making. The distillery practices longer mashing times and slower fermentation, and experimenting with yeasts not commonly used in distilling to create a striking spirit like no other. The high, narrow cut on the still helps to produce a purer spirit; the unusual lamp-glass-shaped stills encourage a gentle distillation and significant amounts of reflux, creating a lighter spirit that retains its fruity notes.

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