Ad Gefrin debuts inaugural whisky blend

England’s northernmost distillery, Ad Gefrin, has unveiled its debut blended whisky called Tácnbora, made with a combination of Scotch and Irish whiskies.

Ad Gefrin is an Anglo-Saxon museum and distillery located in Wooler, Northumberland, which is due to open to the public in February 2023 following the build of a £14 million (US$16.2m) visitor centre that will showcase the history of the county’s ‘golden age’.

The release of Tácnbora is said to aptly reflect a brand ‘built on ancient hospitality and bringing everyone together’, and will ‘encapsulate the spirit of belonging’.

The whisky combines Scotch and Irish whiskies, reflecting two of the peoples that would have made up the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria (Scottish, Irish, English and Scandinavian). Future editions will reflect different pairings.

Tácnbora is made with a mix of malt and grain whiskies that have been aged in virgin American oak and oloroso Sherry casks, creating a ‘distinctive and palatable’ spirit.

On the nose, it presents notes of honey, vanilla, candied citrus peel and spices, backed up on the palate with the flavours of sultanas, cream soda and nutmeg. The finish lingers and coats the mouth with the tastes of honey, vanilla and sweet citrus.

The blend has been designed to pave the way for the distillery’s Ad Gefrin Single Malt, which is due to be released in 2026. It is believed that this will be the ‘first’ Northumbrian English single malt whisky, and will be made using barley and water from the Cheviot Hills, located in the county.

The distillery team is led by director of distilling Ben Murphy, who has enjoyed successful stints as head distiller at Berentsens Brygghus, Egersund, Norway, and at Poetic License Distillery in Sunderland, England.

Joining him is Craig Stock, a Canadian with diverse experience latterly at Durham Distillery; and recent postgraduate from Heriot Watt University’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling, Germano Molinari of Sambucca heritage.

Ad Gefrin also benefits from having Alan Rutherford on board at a non-executive level. The former president of the Malt Distillers Association of Scotland, and council member of the Scotch Whisky Association, received an OBE for his ‘services to whisky’ in 1996.

Tácnbora will be available to purchase online from 1 November for £42.50 (US$49.27) per 700ml bottle.

This week, The Spirit of Manchester Distillery unveiled its Founders’ Club, which will give consumers the chance to ‘follow the journey’ of Manchester’s ‘first’ single malt whisky.

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