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About Us

Cardhu Scotch Whisky Distillery

Cardhu Distillery, Knockando, Aberlour, Banffshire AB38 7RY
Tel: +44 (0)1340 872555

Cardhu Distillery General Information
Current Owners click text for detailsDiageo
Location Speyside
Water source Springs on the Mannoch Hill.
Stills 3 x wash stills and 3 x spirit stills
Capacity per year 3,000,000 Litres
Status Active/Producing
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Cardhu Distillery History
1811 John and Helen Cumming sited their first still at Cardow Farm on the Mannoch Hill, high above the River Spey.
1824 John Cumming took out a license under the new Excise Act.
1846 John and Helens son Lewis took over the lease on the farm when his father passed away aged 72.
1846–1872 Lewis continued to develop the flavour of Cardow but was still selling in small quantities due to the size of the distillery which was not bigger a good sized smugglers bothy.
1872 Elizabeth Cumming, Helen's daughter-in-law, took over the management of the distillery in when her husband died and ran it with energy and foresight.
1874 Helen Cumming who distilled the first batch of Cardhu died at the age of 97.
1885–1886 Under Elizabeth's direction, a new piece of land was acquired on which the distillery was rebuilt. Stills and other equipment from Old Cardow were sold for £120 on 22 March 1886 to William Grant for Glenfiddich, the distillery he was building in Dufftown.
1893–1895 Elizabeth and her son John sold the distillery to John walker & Sons of Kilmarnock for £20,500 on the 19th September. Elizabeth Cumming died suddenly on the 19th May 1894. A local paper stated that she was “a true friend of all the poor”. John Cumming built a new family home overlooking the valley of the Spey in Aberlour calling the new house The Dowans.
1899 A new station was built at Knockando allowing the distribution of Cardhu more cost effective. Stills were increased from two to four, a larger mash tun was put in and the tun room was extended to accommodate additional wash-backs.
1902 The Walker family were continuing to improve and expand the distillery with a building from drying draff, condensers replaced the worm tubs and a magnificent steam engine must have been installed at the same time as the boiler.
1917–1919 All malt whisky distilleries had been closed by Government order to conserve stocks of barley. Production re-started in October 1919 after almost 2 and a half years.
1933 John Cumming died on the 5th January aged 69.
1960–1971 Demolition of the greater part of the distillery began in June. Equipment was installed to work at a higher output, greater convenience and economy of working and at the same time safeguarding the character of the whisky. Two more still were added to take the number to six in total. Coal was no longer used when all six stills converted to internal heating by steam from an oil fired boiler.
1981 A long-standing source of confusion was resolved in when the distillery’s name was changed from Cardow to Cardhu.
1988 Cardhu Visitor Centre Opens.
2006 The launch of Cardhu Special Cask Reserve. Each small volume batch is carefully selected and numbered as shown on the bottle and carton. It carries no age statement.
Today Cardhu continues to be successful and with annual sales of more that 3 million bottles it is the 6th best selling single malt in the world. Our Visitors Centre location is unrivalled; situated on a small hill overlooking Ben Rinnes, so why not come along and see how one of the finest malt whisky’s in the world is made.

Cardhu Distillery Comments
Important component of Johnnie Walker blends
Cardhu means “Black Rock” in Gaelic
Previously known as “Cardow”. Changed to Cardhu in 1981
Illicit distilling took place before 1824 – Cummings’ wife would warn him when the Excise man was approaching, often disguising distillation process with baking!

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Cardhu Distillery Bottlings
click text for detailsCardhu 12 Year Old
Cardhu Aged 25 Years (Rare Malts Selection) 60.5% vol (Distilled 1973)

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Cardhu Distillery Visitor Centre Information
Contact +44 (0)1479 874635
5th January to 1st April Monday - Friday: 11:00 - 15:00
Tours: 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 & 14:00
Easter Weekend Sat 23rd April 10:00 - 17:00
Sun 24th April 11:00 - 16:00
4th April to 30th June Monday - Friday: 10:00 - 17:00
1st July – 30th September Mon – Sat: 10:00 - 17:00
Sun: 11:00 - 16:00
October - December Monday - Friday: 11:00 - 15:00
Tours: 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 & 14:00
Tours + Prices Cardhu Distillery Tour
£4 (Voucher £3 off purchase x 1 70cl malt whisky)
Guided tour of the whisky making process at Cardhu Distillery and short history rounded off by a dram of Cardhu.
"Glassic Tour"
£6 (Voucher £3 off purchase x 1 70cl malt whisky)
Guided tour of the whisky making process at Cardhu Distillery and short history rounded off by a tutored tasting of 3 of our single malts. Complimentary glass.
Notes Our tours depart frequently throughout the day. It lasts approximately one hour and the last tour leaves one hour before closing. As part of Diageo’s commitment to protecting our environment we have now removed all of our outside litterbins. There are recycling points allocated at Knockando Village Hall car park & Archiestown’s Main Street car park, which are both situated on the B9102. Thank you for you support in helping us make the world a greener place. Tailor made tours /or further information is available on request please contact cardhu.distillery@diageo.com or call our visitor centre on 01479 874635.
Location From Elgin take the A941 south to Rothes, continue for 3 miles then travel west on the B9102 for approximately 7 miles. From Grantown-on-Spey take the B9102 north east for approximately 17 miles.

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