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Knockando

Region: Highlands
District: Speyside

In Gaelic, Knockando (Cnoc-an-dhu) means "little black hillock". The distillery sits on a tree-covered hill that overlooks a sweeping panorama of the Spey river. It is a relatively new malt, having been exported only since 1977. The distillery was constructed in 1889. The somewhat unusual ages at which Knockando can be found is due to the long-standing practice/philosophy of bottling the casks only when they are deemed to be at their peak maturation, as opposed to bottling them automatically at certain ages. This same philosophy dictates that the use of sherry casks is deliberately kept to a minimum in order to preserve the delicate flavor of the Knockando. One can find three "brands" of the Knockando. Each retains the "Knockando style", but each having a different profile, which is determined by the length of time that it is matured. The most familiar brand, Knockando, is matured at least 12 years. The Knockando Special Selection is matured at least 15 years, and the Knockando Extra Old, or Reserve, is matured at least 20 years. One can make an excellent "study" of the effects of age with these three malts. Tough assignment, huh?

12 year old

Proof 86
Color Light gold.
Nose Aromatic. Fragrant, flowery, dry.
Body Light to medium. Very smooth.
Palate Complex, smooth, flowers, nutty, and a hint of mint near the end.
Finish Long and lingering. Soft, with some sweetness, smoky and coffee notes.

15 year old, Special Selection

Proof 86
Color null
Nose Aromatic. Fragrant, flowery, dry.
Body Medium. Very smooth.
Palate Complex, with more fullness than the 12-year-old. Smooth, flowers, nutty, and a hint of mint near the end.
Finish Long and lingering. Soft, with some sweetness, smoky and coffee notes.

21 year old, Extra Reserve

Proof 86
Color Gold
Nose More rounded and fuller than the younger versions. Aromatic. Fragrant, flowery, dry. Traces of peat.
Body Medium. Very smooth.
Palate Complex, with more fullness than the younger bottlings. Smooth, flowers, nutty, and a hint of oak near the end.
Finish Long and lingering. Soft, with some sweetness, smoky and coffee notes.

18 year old

Proof 86
Color Light gold.
Nose Fragrant, but with more pronounced almond aroma.
Body Medium. Soft.
Palate Smooth and with more complexity and depth of charcter than the 12 year old. Some sherry is evident along with the almond flavo
Finish Long with slight sweetness and a hint of smoke and coffee.

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