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AnCnoc Knockdhu Staff Photo

the making of a modern tradition

Jul 23, 2019

Every distillery producing a single malt uses the same process and ingredients – water, yeast and barley, so how can it be that every whisky has such a different taste and character?

Well, a lot of that will depend on where the distillery is situated.  The natural environment – climate, soil and terrain all produce a certain character and taste profile for that whisky, meaning whisky produced in different regions will have distinguishing features that sets them apart.

But, just as importantly, every distillery has its own special story built not just around its history and heritage but in the production techniques it uses to create its distinct whiskies.

Our place
Knockdhu Distillery in Banffshire opened its doors back in 1894, thanks to our founder John Morrison, who saw a golden vision of the future – an opportunity there for the taking.  With a vast expanse of lush green fields, peat and barley, the clear crisp springs from the hills and the Great North of Scotland Railway line running nearby, John Morrison seized the chance to turn nature’s gift from the land into something special. 

Our whisky is named after the hill that is the source of the many springs that bring our whisky to life - the black hill is an alluring, dramatic backdrop to our distillery.  Knockdhu Distillery is situated by the small town of Knock, near Huntly, which lies to the north east of Scotland’s Speyside whisky region, in fact it is the most easterly distillery in the region making our whisky a Highland malt which delivers a suprise when you take your first sip.

Our soft spring water is of an outstanding quality, as are our surrounding natural resources, in fact we’re perfectly placed to produce one of the finest whiskies in the world, and it’s no coincidence that we do, even if we do say so ourselves!

Our process
As the very first drops of spirit started to flow from Knockdhu’s stills all these years ago, a story began; a tale of pride and passion, running through generations of the team at Knockdhu who have been hand crafting our whisky to share with the world for over a century.

Our production techniques remain unchanged, in fact the two copper stills used to create these very first few drops of whisky remain at Knockdhu in size and shape, their flat bases forcing the vapours to journey up through the long narrow neck of the still to produce a unique, refreshingly modern spirit. 

Our production process draws on every bit of John Morrison’s knowledge, a dreamer and visionary whose spirit runs through Knockdhu, just as they did almost 125 years ago to create a thoroughly our modern, traditional spirit.  Discover more about our process.

Our people
A whisky is only as good as the people who pour their hearts and souls into their craft and although our distillery is relatively small, we are big on our passion for creating a uniquely special spirit.  Knockdhu is manned by just six men (and quite a few dogs, we're counting 6 at he minute) but they can make around 1.9m litres of pure alcohol per year. 

Our pride
Emerging from the past, bringing the essence of Knockdhu’s rich, diverse natural surroundings to life, our range of expressions have taken an intriguing journey from the heart of those very lands.  We’re exceptionally proud of our range of award-winning whiskies – you can view the full range and tasting notes (and get a sense of what your favourite dram out of our range might be) here

Our present
At this time of year we start to move into our silent season at Knockdhu but we would still love to welcome you if you’d like to find out more about our production techniques and of course meet some of our distillery team.  From the 1st July – 5th August our tours may vary slightly from the norm but we never do two tours the same anyway!

If you’d like to come and visit us, please contact the distillery team on 01466 771 223 or email our Tour Guide, Lorraine on

Visits take between and 1-2 hours and you will have the opportunity to taste some of our drams following your tour.