Knockdhu Distillery does now organise twice daily tours at 10.00 and 14.00, Monday to Friday, but they should be booked in advance.
I visited Knockdhu in 2011, when tours were by appointment only. One of the best tours I have ever undertaken, topped off with some outstanding whiskies and a very reasonably priced bottle of one of my very favourite whiskies - anCnoc 16yo.
Knockdhu markets its malt as anCnoc, so as to avoid confusion with Knockando - reputedly at the insistence of Knockando owners Diageo (whose predecessors United Distillers sold Knockdhu to Inver House).
When the distillery was built, it would have been a peaty whisky, as there was plenty of peat around to heat the kilns for drying the barley - this was common practice for most Highland and Speyside distilleries of the time, but over the years with the greater availability of coal, transported to the site by the railway it had been built alongside, so the barley could be dried differently and the flavour changed. But from 2004 there has been a return to producing peaty whisky at Knockdhu.
It was the railway that had lead to the siting of the distillery. The Great North of Scotland Railway had built its line from Grange (on the Aberdeen - Inverness main line) through Knock to Portsoy and Banff in 1859, and was used by the distillery to bring in the barley (though initially a lot was locally grown); and take away the whisky. The considerable sidings for the distillery alongside Knock Station can be seen in the 1902 map.
The distillery is in the considerable shadow of the largest hill in the area, the rather tautological Knock Hill - after which the distillery is named.
Most of the peated editions have been named after implements used in the cutting or production of peat - flaughter (a spade used to take off the top layer of peat); cutter (used to cut peat from shallower, drier bogs); barrow (to carry the peat); rascan (a traditional peat-harvesting tool); stack (where the peat is left to dry); rutter (a type of spade used to size and separate peat blocks); rùdhan (another stacking term).
Malt Madness Wikipedia WhiskyMerchants scotchwhisky.com SMWS
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Knockdhu Distillery is in the village of Knock, which is just off the B9022 Huntly to Portsoy road, and the A95 Keith to Banff road.
The remains of the former Knockdhu station are now part of the Distillery, so the nearest stations are Keith (KEH) (9 miles) and Huntly (HNT) (10 miles) Live Train Times: KEH, HNT.
anCnoc produce 12yo (40%), 18yo (46%), 24yo (46%), 35yo (41%) with regular limited edition vintages - currently 2002 (46%), and 1975 (44.2%) you may find some other years still available. The peaty range is currently represented by Peatheart a 40ppm bottled at 46%.
Independent bottlings rare.
RMW TWE MoM
Nearest Bike shops:
Elgin: (26 miles)
Bikes and Bowls 7 High Street, Elgin 01343 549656
Halfords Lossie Wynd N, Elgin 01343 552030
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions of all my photos of Knockdhu Distillery are available on Flickr.