Located near the village of Knockando, on the Mannoch Hill over the Spey River, the distillery has a beautiful view of the impressive Ben Rinnes mountain range. The distillery was founded in 1824 by John and Helen Cumming under the name of Cardow (the name derives from their estate), a family of farmers who have illegally produced whiskey for 13 years. It is said that John's wife, Helen, sold illegal whiskey chips from the kitchen window! In 1839 John took leave the distillery to his son Lewis who continued to develop Cardow's taste but always with a small production.
In 1872, Lewis's death took over the company of his wife Elizabeth Cumming, who led the distillery for almost 20 years and became known as the "Queen of Whiskey."
In the 1980s, Elizabeth built and expanded the distillery by using adjacent land adjacent to existing ones and arriving at a production of 270,000 liters per year, even the old anambics were sold to William Grant who bought them for his new distillery: the Glenfiddich which he was building in Dufftown.
In 1893 Cardow was sold to Johnnie Walker & Son ltd., Cardhu became a key component of Johnnie Walker's blends. Between 1960 and 1961, the distillery was rebuilt and expanded from 4 amphibians to 6 and the production of Single Malt was resumed. in 1981 the name changed definitively to Cardhu. Today, Single Malt is highly demanded and Cardhu no longer sells its whiskey to blender but has moved its production to Single Malt.