We are proud to be a true Irish farm distillery. Inspired by nature, ingrained in culture, and excellence instilled in every bottle.
Behind Every Name – Lies a Powerful Story
Our name An Carn, derives from Carntogher, Carn Tòchair in Irish, meaning cairn of small stones. Carntogher is a small rural community which encompasses Slaughneil, Tirkane, Glen and Maghera.
The first known record of the mountain is in the Iron Age tale Tàin Bò Cuailgne. Steeped in history, the mountain is believed to be the site of rapparee Shane Crossagh Ó Maoláin’s stolen stash of gold, which he buried before he was captured and executed. Due to this, there is a hiking trail on the mountain named Shane’s Leap. Perhaps it is also, no wonder then, that the glorious spring waters and bountiful fields below today make liquid gold.
Located in County Derry in the North of Ireland, the area is in the midst of a resurgence in its Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage. Thanks to new initiatives and the work of the local community, there has been an incredible revival of cultural traditions along with environmental protections and enhancements.
It is this ethos, the principles of family, community, and the restoration of centuries old heritage carried out in a modern and sustainable manner, that drives our vision for An Carn Distillery.
From Grain to Glass
We are incredibly lucky to have an abundance of quality barley grown right on our doorstep. Our intention is to eventually source all of our barley from South Derry farms.
Local communities are the lifeblood of this country, so we’re absolutely committed to supporting them and creating more efficient supply chains. Not only does this reduce carbon emissions but it allows our grains to remain fresh and tasty.
Distilleries produce a lot of by-products, but on a working farm, those by-products are a valuable resource. Spent grain, the grain left over after distillation, is a pure waste product of the distilling process, and we separate the grain from the liquid to create two separate re-useable products.
The draff from this is used as a nutritious and protein rich feed for our cattle. The spentless, the left-over liquid from the distillation process, is stored in a large tank and used as a fertiliser on the farm.
From Field to Farm
From Spring to Still
Water plays a major role in the production of whiskey, and the mineral attributes and purity of the water used has a huge effect on the final outcome. One of the three main ingredients in whiskey, water is vital to the final flavour and quality of the product. We are proud to use only the purest Lough Bann Spring water. This helps our whiskey achieve its distinct character from the flavours of the peat of the Sperrin Mountains which the water flows through. The harsh winter snows on the Sperrins melt to flow down through the peated ground. With the dawning of a new season, this water wells up into the fresh water spring; clear and crisp, and full of natural Irish flavour, ideal for making whiskey. It really is the drop that that makes the dram.
Investing in cutting edge sustainable technologies and has been a clear part of our vision and ethos from the outset. Our distillery is powered by a generator which is fuelled on waste cooking oil.