• Scotland
Phone Number
  • +441586554258
  • 9 Bolgam St, Campbeltown PA28 6HZ, United Kingdom

Historic stone building with large wheel on wall.

History of Cadenhead’s Distillery


William Cadenhead Limited was established in 1842 in Aberdeen by George Duncan. In 1858, William Cadenhead, Duncan’s brother-in-law, acquired the business. Cadenhead was not only a vintner but also a renowned poet during the Victorian era. 

Born in 1819, he started working early and eventually joined the business, becoming a significant figure in local affairs.

Upon William Cadenhead’s death in 1904, his nephew, Robert W. Duthie, took over the business. Duthie was instrumental in developing the firm’s reputation for single malt Scotch Whisky and Demerara Rum, even advertising extensively with slogans like “By test the Best.” 

Under his leadership, the company also developed branded whiskies, including the deluxe blend Putachieside and The Hielanman.

The company faced financial difficulties in 1931, and after a tragic accident involving Duthie, long-term employee Ann Oliver took charge. Despite initial success, the business struggled in the 1960s, leading to Oliver’s retirement and the eventual sale of the company.


Acquisition of William Cadenhead Limited Distillery

In a significant turn of events, J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd, owners of Springbank Distillery, acquired William Cadenhead Limited. This acquisition marked a new chapter for the company, aligning it with a well-established name in the whisky industry. 

Under the new ownership, the company continued to expand and thrive, maintaining its traditional ethos while adapting to the modern market’s demands.

Today, William Cadenhead Limited is a household name in the whisky world, with over 175 years of history and a legacy of quality and tradition in whisky and rum production. The company, while celebrating its rich history, continues to progress and innovate in the spirits industry.


Ethos of Cadenhead’s Distillery

Cadenhead’s Distillery takes pride in its simple yet effective ethos that has been the cornerstone of its operations for 175 years. The distillery places significant emphasis on the cask selection process. 

This process is not only intricate and detail-oriented but also crucial to ensuring that what ends up in the bottle is nothing short of excellent. They own thousands of casks and are continually acquiring more to have a wide variety for both current bottling and future releases. 

The selection process is not just a fundamental aspect of their operations but also an enjoyable part of their job.

The distillery believes in aging their spirits to what they consider perfection. Judging when a whisky reaches its peak is a challenging task, but with a team that boasts many years of experience, they can make informed decisions on when to release a spirit. 

There is no rush in their process, as they are not pressured to bottle whisky for the sake of making money. This approach allows them to stay true to their ethos, focusing on the quality of what they bottle rather than the quantity.

Taste is paramount at Cadenhead’s. The distillery does not get swayed by factors like the age of the whisky or the popularity of the distillery where it was made. Decisions on what to bottle are based on taste, underscoring their commitment to the quality of the dram. 

The entire team at Cadenhead’s is involved in various steps, from purchasing to vatting to sampling, to ensure that every bottle that reaches the shelves meets their high standards.

Furthermore, Cadenhead’s takes pride in discovering hidden gems from lesser-known distilleries, a task that requires patience, knowledge, and hard work. All their products are bottled locally in Campbeltown, a town with a rich history in the whisky industry, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. 

The ethos of Cadenhead’s is reflective of the wider attitude of their parent company, J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd, which also owns other distilleries in Campbeltown, including Springbank and Mitchell’s Glengyle.

The company is proud to employ staff from the local community, contributing to the local economy and upholding the town’s illustrious heritage as the original whisky capital of the world. 



Cadenhead’s Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Cadenhead’s Distillery offers an immersive and delightful tour experience for whisky enthusiasts, providing a deep dive into the world of whisky through various engaging activities.

The Tasting Room

The Tasting Room, open from Monday to Saturday (10 am – 6 pm), offers guests a chance to sample a vast array of Cadenhead’s bottlings, ranging from recent releases to whiskies selected from their archives.

Located behind the Cadenhead’s Campbeltown shop, the Tasting Room also offers wines, beers, cocktails, and soft drinks. Guests can enjoy light bites, soup, and sandwiches available daily between 12 noon and 2.30 pm.

 For groups of 10+ guests, advance notification of the visit is requested.

Cadenhead’s Creations – Blending Lab

The Blending Lab offers a unique experience for guests to blend their very own Cadenhead’s Creation. In this 1 hour and 30 minutes session priced at £100, participants can create their own blended malt or blended scotch using 8 provided Cadenhead’s scotch whiskies from different cask types. 

The blending session is conducted blind, allowing participants to rely on their senses to create their perfect blend. Participants can then hand-fill a 70cl bottle of their chosen blend to take home.

Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting

The Warehouse Tasting offers participants the opportunity to sample a selection of the finest Cadenhead’s whiskies from various distilleries. 

This tasting session is conducted in one of the traditional warehouses on the grounds of Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown. 

Participants also receive a complimentary Cadenhead’s glass.

Booking Information

While pre-bookings for The Tasting Room are generally not available, it is advised to book in advance for the Blending Lab to avoid disappointment. 

On-the-day bookings for the Blending Lab are also accepted if spaces are available.

 For the Warehouse Tasting, interested individuals can book online to secure their spot.


Flask & Barrel Review of William Cadenhead Ltd

Visiting Cadenhead’s Distillery was a delightful notch on my whiskey collector’s belt, and I’ve got to say, it was a solid 4.7 out of 5 experience for me. 

Nestled in the historic town of Campbeltown, this distillery is a treasure trove for folks like me who appreciate a good dram and the stories behind each bottle.

The Tasting Room was my first stop, and it was nothing short of cozy and inviting. With an extensive selection of Cadenhead’s bottlings to sample, from the newest releases to gems from their archives, my palate went on a joyous adventure. 

The staff there? Knowledgeable and friendly, making the tasting experience not just delicious but also educational.

Now, the Blending Lab was the highlight. As someone who has been on countless distillery tours, getting the chance to blend my own whiskey was a refreshing and exciting experience. 

With eight different whiskies at my disposal, and all of it blind tasting (no labels, folks!), I had the freedom to trust my senses and craft a blend that was uniquely mine. Walking away with a 70cl bottle of my creation felt like winning a golden ticket.

The Warehouse Tasting wrapped up my visit, and it was the cherry on top. Sampling various top-tier Cadenhead’s whiskies in a traditional warehouse set the perfect mood. The ambience was authentic, and the whiskies were exquisite, each with its own character and story.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say the booking process for the Blending Lab could be smoother. But hey, good things come to those who wait, right?

In a nutshell, Cadenhead’s Distillery is a must-visit for whiskey enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned collector like me or a casual whiskey drinker, there’s something for everyone. Cheers to the liquid gold and the fantastic folks at Cadenhead’s!


What To Do Nearby Cadenhead’s Distillery

Here are some things you can do near Cadenhead’s Distillery:

Campbeltown Heritage Centre

This museum tells the story of Campbeltown’s rich history, including its whisky-distilling heritage. It is located just a short walk from Cadenhead’s Distillery at Big Kiln St. and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Mondays.

The Cutting

This garden is located at Ailsa House, Kilkerran Rd., about a 10-minute walk from Cadenhead’s Distillery. It is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The Tasting Room

This bar is located at 7 Bolgam St., right next door to Cadenhead’s Distillery. It is a great place to try a variety of whiskies, including Cadenhead’s own bottlings.


Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Cadenhead’s Distillery?

The top 3 restaurants located near Cadenhead’s Distillery are:

Harbourview Grille: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586810000. Their address is Royal Hotel, Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AG, United Kingdom.  

Number Forty Two: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586554642. Their address is 42 Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AD, United Kingdom. 

The Black Sheep Pub: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586810032. Their address is 1 Kinloch Rd, Campbeltown PA28 6EG, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near Cadenhead’s Distillery?

The top 3 hotels located near Cadenhead’s Distillery are:

The Royal Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.

For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +448001513701. Their address is Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AG, United Kingdom. 

Ardshiel Hotel: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps.

For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586552133. Their address is Kilkerran Rd, Campbeltown PA28 6JL, United Kingdom. 

Gowanlea Heights: It has a rating of 5.0 stars on Google Maps.

For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586643404. Their address is GOWANLEA, Argyll St, Campbeltown PA28 6AZ, United Kingdom.