Whisky Catalog by Alternative Whisky Academy

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The Knockdhu Distillery



Location :  Knock, Banffshire, Grampian Region, Highland Speyside, Strathisla
Region : Speyside
Country : Scotland
Type : Malt
Distillery :  AN CNOC - Knockdhu Distillery
Knock, By Huntly, Banffshire (Aberdeenshire AB5 5LJ)
Phone: +44 01466-771223
Fax: +44 01466-771359
No visitor centre.
Manager : S. Harrower.
Founded : Built in 1893
Owner : Inver House Distillers (Since 1988).
Founded : Built by D.C.L in 1893
Water : The river Isla / Springs at the foot of Knockdhu.
Remark :

The distillery have 1 wash still and 1 spirit still.
They use oak hogsheads casks.
Bottled under the Gaelic name An Cnoc - 'the hill', this highland malt was named after the hill where the distillery was established.
An Cnoc (Speyside whisky) were originally sold as Knockdu, the same name as the distillery.
The Knockdhu Distillery was founded in 1893 and production started in October 1894 following the discovery of several springs of the purest, crystal clear water on the southern slopes of Knock Hill. The location was perfect, since it was within a few miles of the fertile farmlands of Moray, a district noted for its barley, and on the edge of an inexhaustable supply of peat, an essential ingredient on the making of an excellent malt whisky. The surrounding crofting community also offered an ideal source of labour.
Working in Distilleries over the winter was a traditional way of life for the crofters.
During the summer months they worked their small farms, scattered over the surrounding hillsides, growing barley and food to sustain them in winter.
After the crops had been harvested, the distilleries would open, taking in the surplus barley and giving the crofters work.
This still has the distinction of having been the first distillery to be built by D.C.L.
Is was established to provide malt whisky for the Haig Blends, and was/is not easy to find as a single malt
It was closed by United Distillers (then known as DCL) in 1983 (the mid 1980s), purchased and re-opened by Inver House Distillers in 1988 and Inver House started production in 1989.
It's re-opening marked then end of a dreary decade for whisky and painted an optimistic picture for the future.
To avoid confusio with Knockando, it changed name from Knockdhu to : An Cnoc. in 1993.
Its single malt is one of the few which does not take its distillery's name.

From the book 'The Scottish Collection' Classic Malts by Carol P. Shaw:
Tasting notes : An Cnoc's dryish aroma is complemented by a mellow sweetness in the flavour. This highland malt was previously known as Knockdhu. Taste rating = 2-3
Knockdhu Distillery was established in 1893 on a favoured site: with water available from Knock Hill, barley from the nearby farmlands, and a good supply of local peat. Although both its buildings and machinery have since been modified, the production process remains essentially the same, with the two originally desighed pot stills remaining. Previously owned by the Distillers company Ltd and licensed to Haig, Knockdhu was sold in 1988 to Inver House Distillers, who reopned it after a lenthy silent period. Its single malt is one of the few shich does not take its distillery's name.

Source www.bbr.com :

Knockdhu Distillery, Highland

John Morrison bought the Knock estate in 1892 from the Duke of Fife .The discovery shortly afterwards of several springs of pure, clear and highly palatable water on the southern slopes of Knock Hill impressed him so much, that one month later, he laid out the plans to build a distillery and Knockdhu was born.

The location, close to the Great North of Scotland railway line and just a few miles from the peat and barley-rich region of Moray, could not have been more suited to such a venture. The railway station on the "Great North of Scotland" line run between Aberdeen and Elgin. This railway does not exist anymore. Foundations were laid the following year and the distillery, built using eye-catching local grey granite, began production of its first cask in October 1894.

Despite the closure of the railway branch line in the late 1960s, production of whisky was sustained until 1982 when Knockdhu became one of a dozen distilleries owned by Scottish Malt Distillers to be closed in the face of declining demand for whisky worldwide.
In 1988 Inver House acquired the distillery and in 2000 the malt was re-branded as An Cnoc, to save any confusion with the similarly named Knockando, which is owned by Diageo.

Blends are however, still a very important part of the day to day business of the distillery with a number of whiskies still benefiting from Knockdhu’s input.




LINKS.......... to official An Cnoc / Knockdhu or related web pages.
An Cnoc http://www.inverhouse.com/ancnoc.html - at the official :
Inver House Distillers. Inver House Distillers website.
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An Cnoc / Knockdhu