Kindly confirm that you are of legal drinking age in your country of residence before proceeding.or Exit
Gardner Unpeated Portfolio
John Sykes Gardner took over Annandale Distillery from the Donald Family in 1883. Gardner was a wine and spirits merchant in Liverpool. Back in the day, Liverpool and Annan were connected by a scheduled sailing service where ships cast-off from the great seaport of Liverpool, sailing up the North West coast of England and into the Solway Firth, dropping-off and picking-up cargo and passengers at various small ports in Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway, including Annan of course, before returning to Liverpool. John Sykes Gardner was one such passenger and casks of Annandale Distillery’s finest Scotch whisky would doubtless have been part of the cargo.
During his tenure at Annandale, Gardner invested heavily in new distillery equipment, including a, then very modern, steam engine for milling his home-grown barley. ‘The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom’, authored by Alfred Barnard and published in 1887, provides a wonderful, lyrical snapshot of Gardner’s modernised Annandale Distillery, as it was in the late Victorian era.
Annandale Distillery produces both unpeated and peated Single Malt Scotch Whisky, in a unique, modern plant designed by the late Dr Jim Swan and built by Forsyths of Rothes. We’re so confident that John Sykes Gardner would have approved of this that we’ve named our unpeated portfolio The Gardner Unpeated Portfolio to honour ‘Gardner the moderniser’.
In 2008 David Thomson and Teresa Church, the new owners of Annandale Distillery, commissioned the late Dr Jim Swan (sometimes known as the ‘Einstein of Whisky’) to design a whisky-making plant for their distillery. Extensive sensory research conducted by MMR Research Worldwide had identified a style of slightly sweeter, very fruity and peaty/smoky Single Malt,that seemed to be rather unique. Using his vast experience, his finely tuned nose and his extensive stock of Single Malts, Jim created sample of what he thought this whisky should taste like. We loved it! Of much greater importance so did MMR’s whisky consumers. At the same time, Jim also produced an unpeated version in a similar style, and so our award-winning Man O’ Sword (peated) and Man O’ Words (unpeated) Single Malts were born.
The next challenge was to build a modern plant to produce peated and unpeated Single Malts that would match the sensory profiles of Jim’s samples. It also had to fit inside Annandale Distillery’s historic buildings. Quite a challenge but we did it! There are three ‘secrets’ to producing Annandale’s particular style of early-maturing Single Malt; it’s all down to the way we operate the Mash Tun, the combination of yeasts we use to create our fruity character and our twin copper spirit stills.
In his 2020 Whisky Bible, Jim Murray awarded us the accolade of ‘Best Single Cask, Single Malt – 10 years and under’ for our 2015 Man O’ Sword (peated) Single Malt. In 2021, he awarded the same accolade to our 2015 Man O’ Words (unpeated) Single Malt. Both of these ‘world beaters’ were bottled at under 4 years of age.