Highland distiller seeks £1m from crowdfunder for 'innovative' organic whisky

An organic west coast distiller is launching a £1 million crowdfunding campaign to accelerate its growth plans and drive the release of its first whisky.

The organic distiller is looking to help Scotch reach a new audience base. Picture: Contributed

Nc’nean, a spirits maker that focuses on using sustainable development processes, will open the bumper investment round to the public via crowdfunding platform Seedrs today.

The Highland distiller, based on the Morvern peninsula, is targeting funds to support the launch of its first whisky next year. It also intends to drive continued growth of its whisky-related spirits and support further expansion of its product portfolio as it attempts to tap into to a new audience base for Scotch.

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Founder and chief executive Annabel Thomas said: “We’re set to establish Nc’nean as a leader in experimental spirits and a pioneer in sustainable production. We’ve seen a real consumer demand for authentic and sustainable brands and we believe the Scotch category has yet to tap into a new audience base by attracting them with innovative products, which is where we’re looking to build further on our success to date.”

'Innovative' approach

Thomas established Nc’nean with co-founder Derek Lewis in 2013, focusing on a strong sustainable ethos and an “innovative” approach to spirit -making, which involves using longer mashing times, slower fermentation and experimenting with unusual yeasts.

The distillery relies on renewable sources for its energy, while leftover grain is fed to the farm’s herd of cows and waste products are spread on the fields of the Drimnin Estate as fertiliser to ensure nothing is wasted.

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Thomas added: “Our community both near and far is at the heart of everything we do, and I’m really excited that crowdfunding will allow that group to be part of our future success.”

Nc’nean has launched two products in as many years, releasing its Botanical Spirit followed by the Aged Botanical Spirit, both of which have helped to raise its brand profile ahead of the coming whisky launch.

The business claims its Botanical Spirit, described as a mix between whisky and gin, appeals to a new consumer demographic for the whisky industry. The unaged whisky spirit is redistilled with ten botanicals, including wild bog myrtle, sorrel, heather and thyme, by west coast gin distillery Beinn an Tuirc.

Originally produced in a limited run, Nc’nean is now looking to continue production of the drink, which was last year voted one of the top ten “most innovative new spirits” by trade publication The Spirits Business.

Thomas, who grew up in Essex, was inspired to establish the distillery “to do things differently” in the Scotch sector. It is located on land belonging to her family.