Knockdhu distillery is located just outside the village of Knock close to Keith in the Speyside. It was built in 1893 by the mighty Distillers Company Limited (DCL). After the invention of the Column still in the late 1820's and its rise in popularity, grain distillers faced fierce competition from distillers using pot stills. These latter distillers would switch between pot still and column stills.
In 1877 the Haig, Stein and Usher families joined forces with other grain distillers. They formed DCL and together they created a quasi-monopoly on the production of grain whisky. Emboldened by their success, they made their first move against pot still distillers in 1893 and built Knockdhu distillery.
The site was chosen for its proximity to reliable sources of water and barley. Peat was abundant and there were reliable railway connections. The distillery was under the ownership of the founding company (even with all its mergers and acquisitions) since its foundation until 1988. It is one of few distilleries in Scotland to have had uninterrupted production (apart from war time restrictions) until the 1980's when the industry as a whole faced a slump.
In 1983 the distillery was mothballed and five years later sold to the current owners: Inver House. The new owners released a single malt under the name AnCnoc (pronounced: a-nock) in 1990. The range of single malts has been expanded in recent years.
The style of AnCnoc whisky is fruity, estery and citric when young. It has a rich and round palate making it perfect for ageing. Older releases are praised for their richness and complexity.
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