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BurnoBennie Distillery announces its first Collaboration with Fierce Brewery

Liam Pennycook, co-founder of Burnobennie Distillery and Dave McHardy, Ops Director, Fierce Beer

BURNOBENNIE Distillery, an independent distillery based in Aberdeenshire, has announced its first exclusive collaboration with Fierce Brewery that will continue to revolutionise the process for producing its spirit.  

An industry first, Burnobennie and Fierce are adopting a beer-driven approach to distilling its exclusive single malt whisky.  The proceeds of the cask sales will go towards the River Dee Trusts’ #milliontrees campaign with two thirds of the casks already sold during the pre-sale campaign. 

Most distilleries develop the barley beer (or wash) for its single malt at 5-7% alcohol.  Burnobennie is leading the way with an amplified beer wash with a concentrated alcohol content at 14% resulting in an increase in flavour.  The wash is distilled twice and then used to create a single malt whisky which will be sold as limited-edition casks. 

The Burnobennie team has experimented since 2017 with dark roasted malts resulting in its first 18month old single malt being described by whisky expert Charles Maclean as tasting like a 18-20 year old spirit.  The distillery has based its success on focusing on the outset of the distilling process; brewing the wash.  The collaboration aims to be the first in a series with world leading brewers to showcase advanced brewing in whisky making. 

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Liam Pennycook, co-founder of Burnobennie Distillery, said: “We are incredibly excited to work with Fierce to create a truly unique whisky in aid of the #milliontreest initiative. By sacrificing the industry standard yield, our super concentrated wash uses 50% less water, less energy and a reduced carbon footprint – this is allowing us to work towards being fully sustainable in our distilling process.

“We believe the core of whisky making should be developed from the mashtun and our amplified wash – this is where the true magic happens.  There is a common industry perception that up to 85% of the flavour comes from the cask; we want to showcase that flavour should begin in the spirit and can be balanced by the ageing process in the cask.  We are delighted to have Fierce work with us – we match their ethos of focusing on new techniques and flavours so it was a natural collaboration for both of us.”

Fierce Brewery is an award-winning team founded six years ago.  The brewery produces 800,000 litres of beer a year and exports globally, recently crowned ‘Scottish Brewery of the Year. 

Dave McHardy, Operations Director at Fierce Brewery added, “When we had the chance to work with the folks at Burnobennie Distillery we jumped at it – it’s great to see another local business who thinks the way we do. They are looking to be innovative in the way they deal with a traditional process, which is the way we look at things in brewing. And to be involved in taking a modern brewery perspective on the mash and implementing that into a whisky, it’s a very exciting project.”

Burnobennie has been supporting The River Dee Trust which aims to plant a million native trees along the Dee’s tributaries. The distillery has already produced a rare and old whisky series to support the #milliontrees campaign by commissioning a painting by renowned artist Peter Howson titled ‘the world is on fire’.

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