The vintner and whisky merchant that came to be known as W.M. Cadenhead’s was established in the Putachieside area of Old Aberdeen in 1842 by George Duncan. His brother in law William Cadenhead came into the business as a partner in the 1850s and...
The vintner and whisky merchant that came to be known as W.M. Cadenhead’s was established in the Putachieside area of Old Aberdeen in 1842 by George Duncan. His brother in law William Cadenhead came into the business as a partner in the 1850s and took over in 1858 on Duncan’s death, changing the company’s name to his own.
Cadenhead himself remained at the helm of the business until his death in 1904. His nephew Robert Duthie took the reins, concentrating further on single malt whisky and creating proprietary blended whiskies including Putachieside and The Heilanman.
Duthie died suddenly and without heirs in 1931 and the company was passed to employee Ann Oliver. Cadenhead’s struggled under Oliver’s tenure and fell into financial difficulty in the 1960s, resulting in a fire sale of the company’s stock at Christie’s in 1972 on her retirement, which brought in a large sum sufficient to pay the company’s debts and leave a significant profit. Cadenhead's was purchased by J & A Mitchell (owners of Springbank distillery) shortly afterwards and the Cadenhead’s business was relocated to Campbeltown from Aberdeen after 130 years.
Cadenhead’s has flourished again as an independent bottler over the decades of Mitchell’s stewardship, bottling a vast number of extraordinary golden age whiskies since the 1970s, including the iconic brown ‘Dumpy’ series (featuring some wonderful 1970s fonts), the famous 150th Anniversary bottlings in the early 1990s and the ongoing Authentic Collection.
Cadenhead’s now has a string of shops and partner bars, comprising UK premises in Edinburgh and London as well as the Campbeltown HQ, plus a further six outlets on mainland Europe.