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Issue 69 - Fortune comes knocking (Knockdhu)

Whisky Magazine Issue 69
January 2008


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Fortune comes knocking (Knockdhu)

Knockdhu is an oddball distillery that defies categorisation.It's owned by Whisky Magazine Distiller of the Year,Inver House.Dominic Roskrow visited it.

Some distilleries are soaked in atmosphere, and pay homage to their past.

Memories hang in the breeze, and emotions twist and turn in their courtyards.

I'm not sure whether different distilleries affect people in different ways, or whether the haunting atmosphere I experience at some places can be picked up by anyone.Nor do I visit them enough to know whether the ghosts are always present.But distilleries such as Scapa,overlooking the marine hunting grounds of Norse pirates and seamen,Glendronach with its tragic First World War memorial whisky bottle, the Marie Celeste museum site at Midleton,and Brown Forman in Kentucky all have something spiritual and other-worldly about them.

Once you've been touched by the distillery you reconnect with your emotions every time you sip the malt. It's this organic, living entity to a malt that makes it different from any other drink.

For me the latest addition to the above list is Knockdhu.And bizarrely whenever I taste anCnoc 12 Years Old, the distillery's core malt, I think of Michael Jackson.

I'll be honest here.While everyone was writing glowing tributes to him following his death, I felt like a hypocrite. I didn't know him as well as many people but as his editor for Whisky Magazine I had grown impatient with his tardiness and his verbosity. His work would be days late and then would need major surgery to edit it back to the length that had always been agreed.And occasionally he would complain at the way we had cack-handedly sever...

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