Cardhu distillery was founded in Aberlour as Cardow distillery in 1824 by John Cumming, although rumour and folklore sy that he started illicit distilling earlier in 1811.

Cardow remained within the Cumming family (being owned by John, then Lewis, then Elizabeth) until 1893 when it was purchased by John Walker & Sons.

Elizabeth Cumming had built a new distillery on neighbouring land in 1872 and then extended it further in 1887 prior to the sale in 1893.

In 1898 the name was changed to Cardhu, but then changed back again to Cardow in 1908.


John Walker merged with SMD in 1925 who took full control in 1930, eventually becoming UDV & Diageo.

The distillery was rebuilt again in 1960 and the number of stills increased from four to six.

In 1981 the name was changed back again to Cardhu.

Cardhu is a major component of Johnnie Walker blends.


General whisky characteristics: Smooth and creamy



More great distillery info here thanks to Malt Madness


Distillery photos with kind permission by Teun Van Wel




Cardhu, 12y 'Highland Malt', 75cl, 43% ABV

bottling from the late 1970's

Typical cost of this bottle; originally


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Light gold

Nose: Hints of malt amongst some rather creamy and aromatic toffee.

Palate: Creamy smooth and slightly dry as malty (weak) marzipan spreads across the palate.

Finish: Short to medium, slightly dry but offering no real presence of flavour.

Overall Impression: A very easy-drinking whisky, pleasant and creamy, but not remarkable.












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