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Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Knockdhu 10 year old 2006 Cadenhead Single Cask

Knockdhu, formerly a DCL distillery but now under the ownership of Inver House, lives east of the similarly named Knockando, on the edge of Speyside. Inver House helped us all keep the two distilleries straight by naming Knockdhu's single malt brand, anCnoc. I've reviewed several official anCnocs but never an independently bottled Knockdhu. And I have two! Two different bottlers, two different casks, and two very different whiskies. I tried them side-by-side this weekend. Here's the first one:

Distillery: Knockdhu
Owner: Inver House Distillers (via Thai Beverages plc via International Beverage Holdings Ltd.)
Region: Far East Speyside
Bottler: Cadenhead
Age: 10 years (2006 - 2017)
Maturation: bourbon hogshead
Outturn: 252 bottles
Exclusive to: USA
Alcohol by Volume: 56.8%
(from a bottle split)


It's all new make on the nose, yeasty spirit just off the still. Nutritional yeast, rock candy, rosewater, and grapefruit ride up front, something farmy dwells in the back. A bit of heat on the palate, and lots of barley, sugar, and salt. Some digestive biscuits and nectarines develop over time. It finishes hot and sugary, with milder tangy and metallic notes.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or < 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Not much change on the nose. It's less farmy, with more citrus and cake. Prettier. The palate gets slightly weirder, with fermented fruit-like notes. Plenty of yeast and barley beneath. A single citrus note finishes it off.


This sleepy hoggie imparted not much more than some color. I would have guessed the resulting raw Knockdhu was as close to the 3 year old minimum age as possible. The whisky has its joys, like the vibrant, zippy nose, but I can't imagine how one gets through a whole bottle of this stuff. I adore new make, but I'm not sure I could get past a second pour. It's mostly an educational thing, offering us a chance to get as close to the Knockdhu/anCnoc spirit as possible, without working in the stillroom.

Availability - Probably sold out
Pricing - around $100?
Rating - 78