Knockando distillery

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Knockando is fairly typical of the style of the period when blenders were looking for lighter styles from the region. Its production – rapid mashing, short fermentation and quick distillation – is designed to produce a light nutty/malty character.

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status

Knockando History

The distillery was built during the last of the three phases of distillery construction in the 19th century by John Thompson & Co, but like many built at this time, the distillery struggled and was bought by W & A Gilbey in 1904 for £3,500 as part of the London-based gin distiller’s expansion into whisky blending (it had bought Glen Spey in 1885 and Strathmill in 1895).

It then became part of IDV in 1962 which transferred the licence to its Justerini & Brooks whisky division. It has served as the ‘home’ of the J&B blend ever since. Following IDV’s merger with United Distillers it became part of Diageo.

Although it remains a central player within J&B, Knockando has some pedigree as a single malt, mainly at 12-years-old, and was unusual in its habit of stating both the season and years of distillation and bottling date. It remains a good seller in France and some line extensions have been added in recent years. 


  • 1898 Knockando distillery is founded by John Thompson, who enlists the famed Charles Doig to build it
  • 1899 The distillery begins production
  • 1900 Just one year after production starts the distillery closes, and its management taken over by J. Thompson & Co
  • 1904 Knockando is purchased by W & A Gilbey – their third Scotch distillery acquisition – who restarts distillation
  • 1962 The distillery remains in W & A Gilbey's hands until it merges with United Wine Traders to form IDV
  • 1968 Knockando's floor maltings are abandoned; the next year its stills are doubled to four
  • 1972 IDV becomes a part of Grand Metropolitan
  • 1997 Grand Metropolitan merges with Guinness to form Diageo

Knockando Facts

  • Condenser Type i
    Shell and tube
  • Fermentation Time i
  • Filling Strength i
  • Grist Weight (t) i
  • Heat Source i
  • Malt Specification i
    Lightly peated
  • Malt Supplier i
    Mainly in house
  • Mash Tun Type i
  • New-make Phenol Level i
    Lightly peaty
  • New-make Strength i
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
  • Spirit Still Shape i
  • Stills i
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
  • Wash Still Shape i
    Lamp glass
  • Washback Type i
  • Washbacks i
  • Water Source i
    Cardnach Spring
  • Wort Clarity i
  • Yeast Type i


Current owner

Previous owners

  • Grand Metropolitan 1972 - 1997
  • International Distillers & Vintners 1962 - 1972
  • W&A Gilbey 1904 - 1962
  • J Thompson & Co 1900 - 1904
  • John Thompson 1898 - 1900


Knockando Distillery
AB38 7RT
United Kingdom
Visit Website
+44 1479 847660
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public


See also

  • Auchroisk Auchroisk Auchroisk Distillery & brand


    One of Diageo’s ‘nutty-spicy’ sites.

  • Benrinnes Benrinnes Benrinnes Distillery & brand


    A highly individual Speyside whisky.

  • Blair Athol Blair Athol Blair Athol Distillery & brand

    Blair Athol

    The home of Bell's blended whisky.

  • Caol Ila Caol Ila Caol Ila Distillery & brand

    Caol Ila

    Islay distillery belonging to Diageo.

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