how anCnoc is created
The methods used to make anCnoc have hardly changed in over 100 years. Yet, we continue to innovate, although, not it the ways you might think. You see a lot of the changes you’ll see around our distillery are to do with the environment, and what we can do to minimise the impact our distillery has.
On our distillery grounds, we’ve developed wetlands. It’s made up from six separate cells, 2,000 square metres, 17 different species of plants and over 21,000 individual plants. We catch the washing waters from the mash house and tun room and spent yeast from the spirit still, and instead of sending it away in tankers, we can treat it onsite and use it to feed the plants.
The wetlands have also attracted insects, which in turn attract bats and birds’ nests, it’s pretty cool to be able to help the environment grow and diversify. The wetlands have also taken 7 tankers of effluent off the road a week, and 45 tonnes of carbon per year off our footprint.
Every drop of water that we extract from the springs is now used at least seven times, to reduce water waste – to cool worts, to supply the shell and tube condenser, pre-heating the wash still, heating our LPG to vaporise it, adding water to the mash tuns, flushing out the worts cooler and lines, and finally, to clean the washbacks.
Not to mention. We still use our original style copper pot stills and worms to condense the vaporised alcohol (which is very rare these days). Ironically, it’s these traditional techniques which help to create the distinctive, modern flavour.
The whisky is aged in American and Spanish oak barrels, previously used to mature either bourbon or sherry. The casks are rested quietly in dunnage warehouses. A warehouse that we recently built – nice, clean and modern, it used old stone from our former warehouse, that we, unfortunately, had to replace. Here, the thick granite walls make for a stable temperature, which helps to give us a nice consistent dram. In the warehouse you’ll find a bespoke stained glass window showing off our pagoda – it’s a nod to our traditions and looks like it could have easily been there for the past 125 years, but in reality, it’s relatively new. To this day, our distillery continues to embody a modern distillery.
Like anCnoc itself, our Distillery Manager, Gordon Bruce, is something of a character. When it comes to making anCnoc, Gordon and the distillery team, are relentless in their pursuit of perfection.