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10 June 2024



AnCnoc (usually written in lower case "anCnoc") whisky, produced at the Knockdhu Distillery, is known for its light, yet complex flavour profile. The distillery is located in Knock, Banffshire, Scotland, and was established in 1894 by John Morrison after he purchased the Knock Estate. Morrison recognised the area's potential due to its excellent water supply, abundant peat, and proximity to a railway line, which facilitated transport.

The construction of the distillery began shortly after the purchase, with production commencing in 1894. The distillery was designed by the renowned distillery architect Charles Doig. It operated successfully until the 1930s when it temporarily shut down due to the economic downturn during the Great Depression. The distillery reopened in 1933 and continued to produce whisky steadily thereafter.

Knockdhu Distillery's whisky was originally sold under the name Knockdhu. However, to avoid confusion with the similarly named Knockando distillery, the brand name was changed to anCnoc in 1994. The name anCnoc, meaning "the hill" in Gaelic, reflects the distillery's Gaelic heritage and its location near Knock Hill.

The first official bottling of AnCnoc was released in 1993. However, the brand didn't really gain traction until its relaunch in 2003 with a 12-year-old bottling as the flagship. In the years following, anCnoc released a series of vintages and age statements, and by 2013, the core range included the 12-year-old alongside a 16, 18, 22, and 35-year-old.

In 2012, AnCnoc introduced the Peter Arkle collection, a limited edition range featuring packaging designed by the renowned illustrator Peter Arkle. This collection added a unique visual appeal to the brand's offerings.

Knockdhu’s malt is well-known for its light, fruity style. However, the distillery has also been producing a small amount of peated spirit for several years. This peated range was finally released in 2014 and includes expressions named after peat-cutting tools: Rutter, Flaughter, Tushkar, and Cutter. These whiskies are matured in ex-bourbon casks for between eight and twelve years, with phenol content ranging between 11 and 20 ppm, measured in the new make spirit rather than the barley.

Peatheart, however, is a heavily peated malt with a ppm of 40, though this varies depending on which batch you are tasting.

AnCnoc’s blend of tradition and innovation, alongside its diverse range of expressions, has helped it build a loyal following among whisky enthusiasts.