Region: Speyside, Scotland. AB38 7RY
Water source: Spring on the Mannoch Hill and the Lyne Burn
Mash tun: 8 tonne stainless stell full lauter with copper dome
Washbacks: 4x Scottish Larch, 4x Douglas Fir, 2x stainless steel
Stills: 3x wash 3x spirit
Capacity: 3.4 million litres per annum
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.
Our visit: 4th September 2011
Cardhu Whisky Reviews:
- Cardhu 12 Years Old ~ 40% (Diageo) - Cardhu 12 Years Old ~ 40% (Diageo) 40% ABV, £30 for 70cl Score: 69/100 What they say: Cardhu Distillery – previously called Cardow – must be one of the best located distilleries in Speyside. High on the hills on the north side of the Spey Valley with extensive views to the south, it is also the […]
- Cardhu Distillery Only Bottling ~ 48% (Diageo) - Review: Cardhu Distillery Only Bottling Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Cardhu Distillery Bottling: Diageo ABV: 48% Cost: £80 What they say: Available only from Cardhu Distillery, This no-age declaration special bottling is from a limited batch of 1800 bottles and is bottled at 48% ABV What I say: A quick stop at Cardhu […]
- Cardhu Gold Reserve ~ 40% (Diageo) - Cardhu Gold Reserve Speyside single malt scotch whisky 40% ABV, £36-£42 for 70cl Score: 70/100 What they say: The Cardhu family of Speyside single malt scotch whiskies welcomes a new member: Gold Reserve Cask Selection. Master Blender Matthew Crow has carefully selected casks to create a mouth-wateringly sweet, rich and mellow single malt whisky. Smooth, […]