This was one of several Lowland malt distilleries which converted from pot still to patent still in order to produce grain whisky, initially using Stein stills and later Coffey stills. This occurred in 1836, the distillery itself having been founded in 1806 by the Moubrays. The latter were amongst the founders of the Distillers Company Limited when that was formed in 1877.
Cambus continued as a major production unit until the disastrous fire of 1914 which destroyed so much of the property that distilling was abandoned and Cambus became nothing more then a bonded warehouse and the maltings for the nearby Carsebridge distillery. Cambus reopened at the end of 1937 but production proper really only got underway after the end of the Second World War.
Despite subsequent improvements and expansion, Cambus was closed in 1993 and converted from distilling to cask filling and warehousing, becoming in effect Diageo’s central cooperage in 2011 alongside their giant Blackgrange warehousing complex.
Cambus was for a brief period in 1906 strongly promoted as a single pure grain whisky during the time of the “What is Whisky” case in order to persuade the courts and the public that spirit from the patent still had just as much right to be treated as whisky, as spirit from the traditional pot still. The traditionalists lost the day and the rest is history.