Whisky Magazine Issue 123
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Shining the light on a hidden gem – Knockdhu
The day that I visited the small hamlet of Knock it was pouring with rain. It was early June. Despite the rain I left Knockdhu distillery a few hours later with a warm feeling and it wasn't down to sampling the fine whisky as I had a long drive ahead of me. I would like to shine a torch on this little gem for it is really rather special.
A few months earlier I attended the launch of three new peated expressions from anCnoc which is the brand name, and whose house style is soft and honeyed. My interest in this small distillery was piqued as I talked to the manager Gordon Bruce who invited me to the distillery telling me “We like to do things a wee bit differently. I think you'll like it.”
He was right, I loved it.
I had stayed the previous night in Keith and drove east the next morning. Knock is deep in Morayshire, a rich rural landscape. The distillery is the main event and there are only a couple of houses and a phone box. It isn't on the way to anywhere and would be easy to miss. Although the distillery isn't officially open to the public they welcome visitors who make the journey. Alistair Reid, the assistant manager, met me with a welcome coffee before braving the driving rain.
My first impression of the distillery was that it was immaculate. Good housekeeping is important. The site had been mothballed in 1983, purchased by Inver House in 1988 and reopened the following year. Alistair has worked here for twenty five years and Gordon for eight. Gordon late...