Gordon Bruce – Destillerichef Knockdhu (anCnoc)

Knockdhu destilleri är ett tämligen okänt destilleri i Speyside. Grundat 1893 och ägd av Inver House Distillers som även äger bland annat Old Pulteney och Balblair. Destilleriets relativa anonymitet beror på att den single malt whisky som man producerar har ett helt annat namn, nämligen anCnoc. Anledningen är att man vill undvika sammanblandning med whisky från Knockando, som är ett helt annat destilleri. Därför började man att kalla whiskyn för anCnoc 1993.

Vi kommer denna vecka att köra en anCnoc-vecka där vi idag publicerar en intervju med destillerichef Gordon Bruce följt av 5 recensioner av olika whiskyutgåvor från destilleriet under kommande dagar denna vecka. Vi vill även passa på att nämna att vi hädanefter inte kommer att översätta de intervjuer som vi genomför på engelska, då vi vet att ni är fullt kapabla att läsa engelska och då denna process är väldigt tidsödande.

Därmed rivstartar vi vår anCnoc-vecka med intervjun med Gordon Bruce!

Gordon Bruce – Distillery Manager Knockdhu

Hi Gordon! Please introduce yourself to our readers? 
Gordon Bruce, glass washer, chief maker of coffee and manager at Knockdhu.

How did you first get involved in the whisky industry? 
On the off chance knocked on the Pulteney office door in 1988, started as a mash man the following week.

How would you describe the house character of Knockdhu/anCnoc? 
Fruity, sweet, estery and slightly malty.

Please guide us through the core range of Knockdhu/anCnoc? Which one is your favourite? 
12 year old is sweet, soft and subtle, lots of honey and lemons.  18 year old has a big toffee/ vanilla hit followed by dried fruit towards the end.  22 year old is a great sniff and sip dram, raisins, dried fruit and green apples.  Really chuffed with the peated expressions, they have a great balance of fresh fruity anCnoc balanced with vanilla and smoke, it’s very hard to choose just one!  

Knockdhu Distillery, Speyside

You still use worm tubs to condense the alcohol at Knockdhu. What do you think that brings to the character of your spirit? 
Our worm tubs add a depth of character and body to the spirit, they help to retain dactyl which contributes towards mouth feel and butter scotch notes.

What is your proudest moment in your career in whisky? 
Any time I see folk enjoying what we’ve made.

Give us you top five drams that you have not been involved in? 
38 year old Balblair, 16 year old Scapa, 23 year Old Pulteney (bourbon matured), the old 23 year old Knockdhu and a 22 year old bourbon matured Port Ellen.  The Old Pulteney choice is a bit cheeky because I was involved with the production, didn’t realise it had been bottled until I was asked to present it in Stockholm.

Pot Stills – Knockdhu Distillery

Have you tried any whisky from Sweden? If so, what did you think of it? 
In alphabetical order I’m a big fan of Box, Hven and Smogen.  Be really interesting to see how these whiskies develop with time.

If you could have 3 people of your own choice for a whisky tasting, who would you invite and why? (alive or dead). 
It’s not often the family manage to get together these days so must be my family in the kitchen at home.  I’d also love the chance to have a craic with three sadly departed distillers, John Black, Wullie McCallum and Fred Sinclair.

What is your opinion on chill filtration and the adding e-150 in whisky? 
A personal preference but I prefer non chill filtered products, mainly for mouth feel.  There is a need for chill filtration and e150 for certain markets, as long as you can’t smell or taste caramel I’m not going to get too excited. 

What kind of food do you think suits a dram of Knockdhu/anCnoc? 
Parmesan with 12 year old, salty v sweet.  Dark chocolate with 16 or 18 year old.  Beef/ venison carpaccio with 22 year old.  Blue cheese or gravlax with peated variants.

Barrels and Casks – Knockdhu Distillery

How much of your Production goes to blends? 
We couldn’t possibly say, let us have some secrets!

What’s on the horizon for Knockdhu/anCnoc? Anything new you can reveal to us? 
We have a continuous improvement policy, our owners are very supportive of upgrades or enhancements – watch this space.

Do you have any whisky advice to our readers? 
There’s so much nonsense out there about whisky these days that we’re in danger of losing sight of the fact it’s quite simply about pleasure.  There’s no need to analyse everything to death.  Buy yourself a decent glass, we favour copita at the distillery. Visit as many distilleries as you can, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Most of all enjoy.

Anything you would like to add? 
Definitely not ice!

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