Cardhu distillery was built under the name Cardow in 1811. This means that it's one the oldest distilleries in the area. In 1884 the distillery was refurbished and old equipment was sold to William Grant (who went on to build Glefiddich distillery).
By the time of these events, the whisky from Cardhu distillery had become very popular among blenders. It was also popular as a single malt and records from 1888 mention Cardhu 'malt liquor' (single malt?) being sold in London. The distillery was sold to legendary blending company John Walker Sons in 1893. Four years after this acquisition, the distillery's production capacity was expanded.
By the 1960's Cardhu had acquired fame as a fine single malt and as an important component in the world's best selling blended whisky: Johnnie Walker. By the 1980's the whisky was a top single malt seller in the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) portfolio. For some reason, DCL decided to sell Cardhu whisky as a Vatted Malt (blended malt in post 2009 terminology). That move and the change of name from Cardhu to Cardow, confused the general public.
The affair resulted in an overhaul of whisky labeling regulations and influenced the change of terminology used by the whisky industry as a whole. These days Cardhu distillery presents itself as the home of Johnnie Walker whisky.
The character of the spirit produced at Cardhu is influenced by its 75 hours-long fermentation period. Its usage of tall stills and small amounts of peat dried barley.
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