Cardhu celebrates 200 years with limited edition anniversary whisky and Pioneering Women event

A limited edition Cardhu whisky has been released, to celebrate 200 years of the distillery.

Published 6th Mar 2024
Updated 6 th Mar 2024

Cardhu distillery in Speyside is marking its 200-year anniversary with the release of a limited edition 12 year old whisky and a free event this International Women’s Day (8 March).

Attendees to the free event, A Celebration Of Cardhu's Pioneering Women, will be treated to a guided tasting featuring the 12-year-old anniversary dram.

Ticketholders will also hear from a panel of experts, including members of the team who distilled the 200-year anniversary dram, as well enjoying a welcome drink, a cocktail masterclass and music from a local artist.

The anniversary expression is a first-of-its-kind for the distillery having been matured solely in ex-wine casks, a process which was led by Diageo whisky specialists and the Cardhu distilling team who will be a part of the expert talks on 8 March.

The team at Cardhu said: "Created to reflect the bold spirit, innovation and courage which is threaded through Cardhu’s history, most prominently by its original female pioneers, Helen and Elizabeth Cumming, the unusual maturation of the anniversary dram mirrors a tale of defying traditions and pushing boundaries, just as the Cumming women did over two centuries ago during the days of illicit distilling."

The subtle cinnamon spice of Cardhu is balanced in this new bottle by bold bursts of red berries and blackcurrant from the wine casks, while maintaining a smooth, silky and roundness of palette, creating a brave and unexpected twist on the liquid which has been enjoyed for 200 years.

On the nose you might find fresh berries and blackcurrants along with warm baked apple and icing sugar. Swirls of dark chocolate come through after a few moments which slowly progress into velvety toffee, a nod to the sweet and caramelly dram people expect from Cardhu.

On the palate, you'll get sweetness, red berries, cinnamon spice, demerara sugar and dark chocolate. Gentle oak spice and vanilla become more pronounced giving an extremely silky mouthfeel and a strong warming finish.

Guests to A Celebration Of Cardhu's Pioneering Women will have a chance to pick up this special anniversary bottle for £58, as well as enjoying the live music, guided tastings, and talks from Diageo Whisky Specialist Eve Murphy, Cardhu Distillery Manager Roselyn Burnett and Diageo Archivist, Jo McKerchar.

Further celebrating the distillery’s key part in Speyside whisky history, the packaging of the 200-year commemorative edition depicts the iconic image of Helen Cumming waving the red flag she used to signal for neighbours to hide their illicit stills from the approaching authorities.

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Cardhu 200 years limited edition whisky

The bright red and golds of the box and bottle mimic the deep colour of the wine-cask whisky itself, sure to be a favourite for whisky enthusiasts and collectors.

Roselyn Burnett, Cardhu Distillery Brand Home Manager and speaker at the event, said: “Cardhu has a history of pioneering women at its forefront, something unheard of when the distillery began 200 years ago.

"It took innovation and courage to go against the grain in the way the Cumming family did, and with this in our heritage it was only right we did something bold to celebrate such an anniversary.

“As a perfect example of the Speyside style of whisky, it was exciting to work with our blending and distilling experts to create an adapted iteration of what people expect from our distillery, while perfecting the liquid to ensure it retains those classic notes which people look for from Cardhu.

"As one of the few places in the world to stock this limited release, we’re looking forward to welcoming guests who have made the journey to visit us and buy a bottle, be that from Elgin or Ecuador.”

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Eve Murphy, the whisky specialist who led on the development of this special release and panel expert, added: “Myself and the team at Cardhu have worked hard to make the 200-year-anniverary bottle something which speaks to the inspiring example which Helen and Elizabeth set two centuries ago.

"Never afraid to test boundaries, the women who were, and remain a huge part of Cardhu have once again achieved something special with this beautiful red-wine-cask edition.”

To find out more about the anniversary whisky and the International Women's Day event, visit the Cardhu website.

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Cardhu Distillery, Knockando, Charlestown of Aberlour, Aberlour, UK
Cardhu Distillery, Knockando, Charlestown of Aberlour, Aberlour, UK, AB38 7RY
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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