Knockdhu Distillery Information

Perhpas confusingly, anCnoc whisky is made in the Knockdhu distillery, which can be found in the Highlands of Scotland, on the edge of the Speyside region, in the small village of Knock (which is Gaelic for “Hill”, taking it’s name from a nearby conical hill that dominates the local landscape) in Aberdeenshire. The distillery’s whisky currently is sold under the name of anCnoc, though it also was known as An Cnoc.

The Knockdhu distillery where anCnoc whisky is made

The Knockdhu distillery where anCnoc whisky is made. Image copyright of anCnoc Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The distillery was founded in 1893 by John Morrison, who purchased land from the Duke of Fife for farming purposes. After discovering several springs containing pure crystal water on the southern slopes of Knock Hill, and realizing there was peat and barley aplenty, as well as a nearby railroad, he realized the potential for producing whisky. Morrison sent water samples off to a laboratory in Edinburgh. The laboratory belonged to Distillers Company Limited (DCL), who confirmed the water was excellent for whisky production, and then offered to purchase the site from Morrison, who accepted. The distillery originally was designed by architects Gordon & Macbey from Elgin. It was constructed using locally sourced gray granite. The first whisky was distilled in October 1894.

In 1924, management was taken over by Distillers Agency. In 1930, production was taken over by Scottish Malt Distillers (S.M.D.). Knockdhu continually produced until 1931, when the global crisis forced it to close its doors. It reopened in 1933, but had to close again between 1940 and 1945, when wartime regulations on barley prevented many distilleries from producing. During this period, the distillery housed soldiers from India. Following the end of the war, production resumed, and continued until 1983, when the distillery closed again. In 1988, Inver House purchase the distillery from United Distillers. and resumed production in February 1989. In 2001, Inver House (Which also owns the Balblair, Balmenach, Old Pulteney and Speyburn distilleries) was bought by Pacific Spirits, who themselves are owned by the largest producer of alcohol in Thailand, Great Oriole Group (also known as ThaiBev).

The whisky was sold under the name KnockDhu, until 1994, when it was renamed to anCnoc in order to avoid confusion with the nearby Knockando distillery.

anCnoc whisky

Knockdhu’s stills resemble the same shape and form as the ones originally placed in the distillery when it was founded. They are very flat stills in the bottom, featuring long necks. This helps to ensure AnCnoc remains a light and fresh-tasting spirit. Something that is unique to KnockDhu is that the same wormtub is used to condense the output from both the wash- as well as the spirit still.

The whisky is matured in American and Spanish oak barrels, previously used for Bourbon or Sherry.

The core range consists of:

  • 12 Years Old
  • 16 Years Old, matured in Bourbon barrels. Non-chill filtered, and natural colored.
  • 22 Years Old, matured in a mix of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks.
  • 35 Years Old, bottled at cask strength, non-chill filtered, and natural colored. Limited to 1,495 bottles.
  • AnCnoc Travel Retail Exclusive

Peaty range (all are named after tools used in the peat-cutting process):

  • Tushkar; 15 ppm (Only available in Sweden).
  • Flaughterl 14.8 ppm.
  • Rutter; 11 ppm.

Vintage releases:

  • 1975; matured in Spanish and American oak barrels.
  • 1991
  • 1993
  • 1994
  • 1995
  • 1996; matured in Spanish and American oak barrels.
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999

Peter Arkle Series:

  • Ingredients
  • Casks
  • Bricks
  • Warehouse

Distillery info:

Water sourceKnock Hill Springs
Owned byInver House Distillers

Knockdhu Distillery Co Ltd
Knockdhu Distillery Managers House
Huntly, Aberdeenshire
AB54 7LJ
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 1466 771223

Visitor centreNo

Distillery Setup:

Mash tun5 tonnes1
Washback21,500 litres6 (Douglas Fir)
Wash still10,350 litres1
Spirit Still9,500 litres1
Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)1,700,000

Images copyright of anCnoc Single Malt Scotch Whisky.