Cardhu 12 Years Old

History The distillery was set up by John Cumming, who had previously been a whisky smuggler, in 1824. The distillery was sited high up on Mannoch Hill, above the River Spey due to the peat softening the water. The distillery started as farm distillery working on a seasonal basis after the harvest had been gathered. The distillery was mainly run by his wife Helen who used to sell bottles of whisky to passers-by through the window of their farmhouse. In 1885 the distillery was rebuilt on a new piece of land but continued to stay in the hands of the Cummings, being run by Elizabeth Cumming, the daughter-in-law of Helen Cumming. The stills from the old distillery building were sold to William Grant who set up Glenfiddich distillery. The new building and stills meant that Cardhu could produce triple the amount of whisky it had previously produced. These higher production levels led to Johnnie Walker and Sons buying much of Cardhu’s output to put into their increasingly popular blend. In 1893 Elizabeth Cumming sold the distillery to Johnnie Walker and Sons on the condition that the Cumming family could continue the day-to-day running of the distillery. Cardhu distillery kept working under these conditions until the onset of the Second World War when wartime restrictions meant that it was harder to use barley for distilling purposes. In 1960 the distillery’s still-house, mash-house and tun-room were rebuilt, and in 1970 steam coils were introduced to heat the stills and the number of stills was increased to six. Spring water from Mannoch Hill started to be mixed with water from the local Lynne burn to supply the increased production of the distillery.

The Whiskyphiles tasting notes

Official Bottling
  • cardhu-12-year-old-whisky Cardhu 12 Years Old (2014) - No tasting notes 69/100
  • cardhu-distillery-only-bottling Cardhu Distillery Only 2016 (2016) - Interesting, quite a heavy spirit character which actually does Cardhu proud, I suspect this is young and probably matured in refill ex-bourbon casks which haven't overpowered this typically light and fruity spirit? I found myself enjoying this a lt more than the more standard offerings from Cardhu. 85/100
  • Cardhu Gold Reserve (2015) - Cardhu Gold Reserve (40%, OB, 2014) Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Cardhu Distillery Bottling: Diageo ABV: 40% Cost: £24.95 What they say The Cardhu family of Speyside single malt scotch […]
  • house-targaryen-and-cardhu-gold-reserve-game-of-thrones-single-malts-collection-whisky Cardhu Gold Reserve House Targaryen (2019) - House Targaryen Cardhu Gold Reserve whisky review: It has been some time since I last tried Cardhu's Gold Reserve and I can't help but feeling it has either improved slightly or my ability to appreciate it has grown. Billed as very approachable, it is hard to argue with that, although this one seems a little spicier in the tail. Good solid stuff and perhaps more than a little of Diageo's well-meaning intentions branding Cardhu against one of the major protagonist houses. Daenerys seems to have gone from villain to hero and back again during the story and we are yet to find out if she will be triumphant in the end. My feelings for Cardhu have never been that strong, but dependable is my best assertation. 74/100
  • cardhu-special-cask-reserve-whisky Cardhu Special Cask Reserve (2020) - Cardhu Special Cask Reserve Whisky Review: Soft and gentle, accessible if a little uninspired, some vanilla oak influence but errs towards bitterness and awful thin feeling at 40%. 76/100
Independent Bottling