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. The Knockando distillery was founded in 1898 by John Thomson and in the early 1900’s, was the first Speyside distillery to use electricity. Closed two years after its creation, it was then acquired by W&A Gilbey Ltd, the famous gin producers from London in 1904. The distillery was rebuilt in 1969, when it doubled its production capacity. Knockando became part of IDV/Gran Metropolitan in 1975. Its single malt is always bottled as a vintage, however only 8% of the production is marketed as single malt, the remaining part being used for the blends J&B and Spey Royal. 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 distilleries natural delicate flavour.