Names are not important... if the whisky is great!
A single malt is usually named after the distillery from which it comes. This was also the case with Knockdhu for 100 years. Until it was decided in 1993 to sell the whisky under the name "anCnoc" (Gaelic for "The Hill"). This should avoid confusion with the Speyside malt "Knockando". What is remarkable, however, is that it was the Knockdhu that gave up its name. Because the Knockdhu distillery has been around five years longer than Knockando - and so you would actually have the older rights. And a mix-up might not be so disadvantageous from a marketing point of view. Because the colleague Knockando is quite popular and is intensively marketed by the owner Diageo...
But that's not how you think at Knockdhu. People there are rightly proud of their own character and want to emphasize that. Good this way.
Where is Knockdhu or anCnoc? Knockdhu Distillery is situated in the East Highlands not far from the Speyside region border. In fact, anCnoc whisky is sometimes categorized as Speyside whisky and sometimes as Highland whisky, depending on how the Speyside borders are defined. anCnoc counts itself among the Highland whiskys.
What does Knockdhu mean? Knockdhu means “black hill” in Gaelic.
3 reasons to love Knockdhu/An Cnoc
1) Because tradition is independent of names.
2) Because "anCnoc" also sounds nice - and tastes good.
3) Because the place name "Knock" is so memorable.
How does anCnoc whisky taste?
The anCnoc is a very fine, soft single malt with fruity notes of green apples, black tea and vanilla aromas. Basically a scotch for everyone.
Our anCnoc recommendation
To get to know it, we recommend the anCnoc 12 year old, a wonderfully mild, fruity single malt. If you like it full-bodied, reach for the anCnoc 18 years.
A bit of history on anCnoc
The distillery was established in 1893 by John Morrison in the small town of Knock near Huntly, just outside the Speyside region. Knockdhu was the first of many DCL (Distillers Company Limited) distilleries and was primarily intended to supply Haig's blends.
In 1898, during the great whisky boom, additional warehouses were built due to strong demand.
Knockdhu was then closed for a period in the 1930's. Also during the Second World War - because of the associated grain rationing - there was no production.
In 1960 the technology was upgraded: the distillery horse was replaced by a tractor. Until then, the coal for firing the pot stills had been drawn from the station to the distillery. When it rained, however, the animal stayed in the stall, and then men with wheelbarrows had to do the work.
In 1983 Knockdhu was closed. In 1988 Inverhouse Distillers bought the defunct distillery and resumed production in 1989.
Knockdhu's single malt has been marketed under the anCnoc name since 1993.
Numbers and facts about anCnoc
Address: Knock, by Huntly , Aberdeenshire AB54 5LJ
Founded: 1893 by John Morrison
Owner: Inver House Distillers
Capacity: approx. 2000,000 liters
1 wash still (10,500 l)
1 spirit still (11,000 l)
Water: Springs at Knock Hill
Visitor Centre: Yes
Telephone: +44 (0)1466 / 771223