Meet Annabel Thomas. She is the founder and CEO at Nc’nean Distillery. And she is breaking down traditional barriers around all things whisky.
Speaking to Annabel in person, you can’t help but be captivated by her clarity of thought, awareness of the world around her, and mission to represent the social responsibility that this industry has been so reluctant to embrace.
Her journey to Drimnin Estate started off exactly there – on her parents’ farm, on which she has built the distillery. In the gaps between assignments for her busy London consulting job, she spent her time exploring the disciplines in and around Scotland. It became clear very quickly that there was limited focus on sustainability, and the appetite for creativity and expansion was greatly restricted.
Annabel ensured Nc’nean’s core was therefore built out of out-of-the-box experimentation, sustainable techniques, and challenging expectations, maximising quality and taste over quantity and profit. Organic barley is used in production. The whole distillery runs on renewable energy. 99.7% of all waste is recycled. Even the beautiful bottles are made of 100% recycled glass.
You can even take a tour of the distillery to experience it all for yourself, complete with refreshments, homemade cake, and of course, tasters of the spirit. And you don’t just have to take our word for it – The Guardian has also listed Nc’nean Distillery as one of the top 10 to visit.
Nc’nean’s success has paved the way for a new generation of values to be embodied by the whisky industry that so strongly represents Scotland and its culture. Led by a woman in a traditionally male-dominated area, Nc’nean is opening up the doors to not only other female entrepreneurs, but the joys of whisky and the versatility of its flavours to a whole new demographic.
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