'A brand new distillery punching way above its weight' - Jim Murray

October 29, 2018

'A brand new distillery punching way above its weight' - Jim Murray

2018 has been a busy year for Annandale Distillery.

June saw the release of the very first bottles of single cask, single malt Scotch whisky to be made here in Annan for nearly 100 years, and for owners Teresa Church and David Thomson and the rest of the Distillery team, it was a proud moment indeed. 

As the year draws to a close, we're prouder still to add the overwhelmingly positive response of whisky connoisseur Jim Murray to a growing collection of enthusiastic and encouraging reviews for Man O'Sword (our peated expression) and Man O'Words (our unpeated expression).

The latest edition of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible (2019) is a fantastic stocking filler and is now available (from our good friends at Master of Malt and other retailers). For the first time, Annandale Distillery features in its pages. 

Annandale Man O' Words cask no. 140, dist 2014 db (89.5)

n22.5 A thick, weighty nose. Clean yet with definite oils making an impact, intensifying the malt but mixing it in with the butterscotch also. Young but with substance, also…

t22.5 much juicier than the nose lets on, then the malt positively cascades onto the palate, a ridiculous amount of spices hanging on to its coat-tails; a little citrus does lighten the load here and there

f22 here the ultra-youthful new make traits kick in, but the malt still has an attractive vitality

b22.5 a malty delight.

Had been meaning to take in Annan Athletic FC and Annandale Distillery over the last four years but my diary just wouldn’t allow it. Somehow I have to make it happen. This distillery promises great things. 

Annandale Man O' Sword cask no. 100, dist 2014 db (92.5)

n23.5 - Youthful certainly. But so wonderfully clean: obviously enormous work has gone into getting the cuts this on the mark. A plethora of citrus notes – lemon and grapefruit mainly, adding further sharpness to the gristy phenols

t23 truly pre-pubescent, but there is such a charm to the semi-new makey malt that you can only sit back and enjoy the salivating freshness, underpinned by the chewy and ever-increasing phenols

f21.5 at this age the finish is the hardest bit to get right, and here the tannins and malt are barely on the same wave-length

b23.5 the strangest thing…I nosed this and thought: Jim Swan. This delightful style has the late, great whisky consultant’s finger prints all over it. A young malt from a brand new distillery already punching way above its weight age-wise and in terms of complexity.

Welcome to the whisky world, Annandale. And what a worthy addition you have already become. Now you just have to keep up this standard: no pressure at all… .


With Man O'Words scoring a solid 89.5 points, and Man O'Sword 92.5 points, it's easy to forget that each of these single malts has only spent three years in-cask. 

Owner David Thomson is delighted; ‘Jim Swan played the leading role in designing Annandale’s whisky-making plant. Indeed, it was he who conceived the idea of twin spirit stills for enhanced copper contact. The resulting whisky is characteristically smooth, mellow and fruity.

That this could happen at such an early stage in the life of our whisky is a lasting tribute to Jim’s genius.’

Buy your copy of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2019 at Master of Malt >