Knockando Speyide Whisky Distillery
Located between the villages of Archiestown and Knockando on Speyside Knockando distillery was founded in 1898 by John Tytler Thomson. The Gaelic Cnoc-an-dhu means ‘small black hillock’ and although with its pagoda roof and beautiful riverside location, Thomson chose the site to use the water from Cardnach a natural spring. The water here is said to come through layers of peat and earth before reaching the spring. Thomson was careful to get sole rights to the spring as in this area of Speyside whisky distilleries were popping up everywhere.
At the time of opening in 1898 Knockando distillery was an example of a modern distillery with electric lighting and a few years later when taken over by W & A Gilbey Ltd a railway siding to the distillery was installed allowing Knockando Scotch malt whisky to be transported to market. The distillery was refurbished in 1969 and the number of stills increased to 4. It is now part of the global giant Diageo group and is actually one of their best-selling malts due to its popularity in Spain and France.
Knockando has been a success story of a whisky distillery only stopping production during the two World Wars of the 20th century. The reason demand has been so strong is that Knockando is a major component in J & B blended whisky which is a major global whisky particularly in the USA where at one time sold over 3.5 million cases in a single year. As a result only 8% of Knockando goes into single malt Scotch whisky. Very few independent bottlings are available from Knockando by Douglas and Laing recently introduced on as part of their Old Malt Cask series.
Taste: A typically lighter Speyside scotch with a golden colour which is fruity with almonds and a very slight hint of peat and saltiness.