Knockando 12 Years Old 1997 (43%, OB, 2009)
- 43% ABV,
- RRP €25 for 70cl
- Score 69/100
What they say:
Not a lot so here’s a little about the distillery:
Knockando Distillery was built by John Tytler Thomson in 1898, and is named after the village in which it stands. The name derives from Scottish Gaelic Cnoc an Dhu, meaning “Little Black Hill”. The village is home to a few other small houses and the larger Knockando House, and is surrounded by woods in which there are buzzards, Red Squirrel and Roe Deer. In 1904 the distillery was purchased by W & A Gilbey, a gin producer from London, becoming part of J&B / Grand Metropolitan in the 1960s and 1970s, and is now owned by multinational firm Diageo.
Knockando was the first distillery in Scotland to be built with electric lighting. In 1905 it was linked directly to the Great North of Scotland Railway, which connected Grantown-on-Spey with the main towns of north-east Scotland. Cottages for distillery workers were built nearby, as well as a house for the Customs and Excise Officer. The distillery currently lies near the disused Tamdhu Station, very close to the beginning of the Speyside Way. The railway has long since been dismantled.
What I say:
Knockando is a stones throw from Cardhu – a Distillery I have had the pleasure to visit – up in the picturesque hills above the river Spey. This is their entry level expression distilled in 1997 and aged 12 years, likely solely in American bourbon oak casks going from the colour and flavours. I picked this up from E.Leclerc in St. Hilaire Du Harcouet when I had just started getting into whisky. I was particularly interested in this because 1, it is not commonly seen on the shelf in the UK 2, Not only an age statement but year of distillation declared on the bottle and 3, What a great name for a drink ‘No can do’ [this is up there with Cairn O’Mohr fruit wines] frankly on both cases I hope they do just what they say on the tin!
Fruity and biscuity cereal malt with oaky notes
This is like peach and apricot jam with vanilla custard and a sprinkling of cinnamon spice
Surprisingly quite long, fruity and prickly
Would I buy it again:
I’d certainly try Knockando again, in fact I have my eye on their sherry cask 18 year old retailing at about €35 – so I may just have to pick one up next time I’m in France. I actually rather enjoy this dram – this is a speysider with some really interesting flavour, character and length – not too complex but highly enjoyable.