It is a place of magic. The pagoda-shaped
roof, almost hidden by trees, broods above a lonely bend
in the river. But Thompson did not choose to site the distillery
at Knockando for its romantic position. Instead, he wisely
chose it for the remarkable waters of the Cardnach spring
– created by rain and melted snow, absorbed deep into
the peat and rocky earth, bubbling pure from underground
and tapped before they reach the Spey.
At the same time that he built his distillery,
Thompson acquired the sole water rights to the spring. No
other distillery has access to them. Knockando™ owes
its special delicacy and fragrance to the purity of the
water drawn from the spring.
Knockando has always been a community. Today a village of
around 200 people, the stone houses cluster around two centers
– the placid parish church and the distillery.
Although almost a century old, Knockando distillery
was considered to be one of the most advanced in all Scotland
at the time of its construction. It was in fact the first
distillery to be built with electric lighting.
A railway siding into the distillery was built in 1905
linking it to the Great North of Scotland Railway and enabling
Knockando™ malt whisky to be transported throughout
Cottages were built for the distillery workers and today
they are inhabited by their modern day counterparts. The
largest, most imposing house was built for the Customs and
Excise Officer, an ever-present figure at all distilleries.
Today the house is occupied by Innes Shaw – the distillery
manager since 1978.
So, for almost a century, Knockando distillery
has continued to produce fine malt whisky with only the
briefest of breaks during the two World Wars, when most
Scottish distilleries were forced to close.
AB38 7RY Scotland
Telephone: +44 (0)1340 882001
The Knockando Distillery not open to the public.