New Northumberland distillery Ad Gefrin launches first whisky blend

Ad Gefrin, a new Anglo-Saxon museum and distillery in Wooler, Northumberland, has announced the launch of its first whisky blend.

Ahead of Ad Gefrin opening in 2023, the release of Tácnbora in November aims to reflect a brand built on ancient hospitality and bringing everyone together by combining Scottish and Irish whiskies.

Opening in February 2023, Ad Gefrin will comprise a £14m visitor experience revealing the fascinating history of Northumberland’s Anglo-Saxon Golden Age. The museum will showcase the court of the 7th Century Northumbrian kings and queens that drew people from all over the world to visit their summer palace nearby. One of the most exciting facets of Ad Gefrin is the complete integration of museum experience and whisky distillery – the county’s first (legal) distillery in 200 years.

Tácnbora – meaning standard bearer in Old English – is a fitting name for the spirit that comes before all the others. The Venerable Bede records that King Edwin was always preceded by a standard bearer carrying a standard with a goat’s head effigy, and that goat symbol is now central to Ad Gefrin’s brand. The whisky blend will pave the way for the distillery’s Ad Gefrin Single Malt in years to come.

The Tácnbora whisky blend features Scottish 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, while all four will be brought together for an exclusive Corenkyn (meaning chosen family in Old English) blend in the future.

On the nose, Tácnbora has 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 with the tastes of honey, vanilla and sweet citrus.

The Distillery team brings youth, passion and energy together under the leadership of rising star Ben Murphy, director of distilling, who has enjoyed successful stints as head distiller at Berentsens Brygghus, Egersund, Norway; and at Poetic License Distillery in Sunderland. 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. The team also drawn on the vast experience of Alan Rutherford, former president of the Malt Distillers Association of Scotland, and council member of the Scotch Whisky Association and recipient of an OBE for his services to whisky.

Tácnbora (£42.50/70cl) is available to purchase online at

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