Cardhu comes from the Gaelic 'creag dubh' meaning "black rock". Known as Cardow until 1893, from 1905 to 1981 and briefly again in 2003-4 during the 'Pure Malt Saga' (see below).
Cardhu is one of Diageo's Classic Malts and is open to the public. Monday to Friday throughout the year and weekends at Easter, Speyside Festival, and July to September - see website for full details. Basic tour with a single dram £5; Guess Dhu tour (3 drams and a glass) £9.00; Cardhu Collection (tutored nosing and tasting of 6 single malts) £19. the latter must be booked.
Started as a farm distillery, around 1811 illicitly. Rebuilt on present site 1884. Run by 'Queen of the Whisky Trade' - Elizabeth Cumming, daughter-in-law of founder John Cumming - between 1872 to 1893. She sold a couple of worn out stills to a William Grant after the rebuild - he installed them at a new distillery called Glenfiddich... Cardhu was sold to John Walker & Sons in 1893 with the proviso that the Cumming family would still run the distillery on a day-to-day basis.
Along with Glenfiddich, Cardhu was one of the first distilleries to (re)introduce Single Malt Whisky in the early 1960s.
The Pure Malt Saga - in 2003 due to the demand for Cardhu, particularly in Spain, as well as the need to use it in Johnnie Walker, Diageo discontinued the Single Malt, in favour of a Pure Malt - vatting Cardhu with other single malts - and selling it in the same distinctive bottle with a very similar label. This did not please consumers and other whisky producers, and the Cardhu Pure Malt did not last long and the Single Malt was re-instated, though the distillery name was reverted to Cardow for a short time. This controversy ultimately lead to the new categorisation of vattings of malt as Blended Malt.
Malt Madness WhiskyMerchants.co.uk Wikipedia Undiscovered Scotland
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Distilleries Speyside Distilleries Spey
Nearest National Rail stations are Elgin (ELG) (19 miles), Forres (FOR) (17), Keith (KEH) (20). Live train times: ELG, FOR, KEH.
Off the A9102 between Upper Knockando and Archiestown.
Cardhu 12yo bottled at 40% was the only regular bottling for many years, but this has been joined by a 15yo and 18yo as well as Amber Rock; Special Cask Reserve from "very old oak casks"; and Gold Reserve - all NAS - all bottlings at 40%
Most of the Cardhu Single Malt goes to Spain where it is the number one brand. It is also the heart of the Johnnie Walker blends.
Very few independent bottlings. SMWS have bottled 18 the most recent in 2012.
RMW TWE MoM
Nearest Bike shops - Elgin:or Forres
Bikes and Bowls 7 High Street, Elgin 01343 549656
Halfords Lossie Wynd N, Elgin 01343 552030
Stuarts Cycles & Sports Goods 32 High Street, Forres 01309 672432
The Bike Bothy 105 High Street 01309 671745
Charlie Millett Dufftown 01340 820991
Not a shop - has a page on the Dufftown.net website - provides repairs and spares - assisted Whisky Cyclist in 2014 when stranded in Craigellachie with damaged tyre and in 2017 with a broken pedal.
Bikespokes Forres 07801 365710 @
Van based mobile servicing & repairs - normally 25 miles radius from Forres, but will travel further for an extra charge
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions of all my photos of Cardhu Distillery are available on Flickr.