Cardhu has an appealing history with roots in illicit distilling. Helen & John Cumming established an illicit distillery in 1811 deep in Speyside. Helen used to raise a red flag to warn other distillers that the excise man was in the area. She is now depicted on the bottles. Cardhu is also known as the home of Johnnie Walker as its malt is an important component of the blends.
There is no official Johnnie Walker Distillery however Cardhu is also known as the home of Johnnie Walker and Cardhu single malt is an important component of the blends. In 2019, Diageo, owners of Cardhu launched White Walker. This Game of Thrones inspired blend is designed to be consumed very cold and kept in the freezer. It contains Cardhu and Clynelish. There is a growing trend for this style of whisky designed to be very cold. Dalwhinnie Gold is a single malt example.
Cardhu Tours and Whisky Tastings
Cardhu is normally open all year round for distillery tours and tastings however, in the current Covid-19 climate it is even more necessary check their website for the latest opening times and tour availability. It’s always recommended you book in advance.
Cardhu Distillery is undergoing a transformation as part of Diageo’s wider Four Corner’s Project. Developments are to include an upgraded visitor experience making the current Johnnie Walker Brand Home building central to the visitor experience with an exhibition, distillery shop, tours and whisky tasting experiences. Plans also include also warehouse tastings and a premier whisky tasting area.
Outside there will be a dramming garden (outdoor whisky tasting) and a statue of Johnnie Walker and Helen Cumming. There will also be an orchard, reflecting the fresh fruit and grassy nature of Cardhu single malt. Although there won’t be an indoor cafe, there is provision for an outdoor one. Cardhu is in a fairly isolated location surrounded by farmland and barley fields providing the ideal backdrop to the developments at Cardhu Distillery.