Edradour

Edradour distills a typically spicy, malty single malt in the Scottish Highlands. In recent years, the distillery has grown from an insider tip to a regular favorite with a widening fanbase. Edradour can boast a variety of high quality bottlings. The experiments with various wine barrels create interesting malts that we can highly recommend. Those with a fondess for peat would do well to cast their eyes across their Ballechin brand.

Edradour Whisky

For many years the sign at the entrance to the Edradour Distillery proudly read ‘Scotlands smallest Distillery’. However, with the creation of micro distilleries such as Daftmill, and their own capacity doubling this has not been entirely correct for many years. Consequently, the small Highland distillery on the outskirts of Pitlochry has changed its slogan to ‘Scotlands little gem’ - Scotland’s little gem. The new title suits Edradour at least as well, if not better. The buildings and it’s process are steeped in the 19th century as little has really changed since then, they’re also the only distillery we know of to feature a Morton Refrigerator. The cuddly whitewashed buildings lie directly on a side arm of the Tummel river. Edradour looks more like a fairy tale village. It is therefore not surprising that the distillery receives numerous visitors every year. Edradour produces a classic, massive Highland Whisky, which is available in non-smoky and smoky versions.

House Style

What does Edradour Single Malt taste like?Edradour whiskies are generally spicy, strong and malty. The small distillery experiments a lot with different types of barrels, especially wine barrels have done the owner Andrew Symington. Therefore, many wine and strong wine barrels can be found in Edradour’s single malts. Depending on the type of barrel, the whiskies have their own aromas. The single malts with the name of the distillery ‘Edradour’ are never peated, their peated offerings are all releasedunder the ‘Ballechin’ brand all of which are heavily peated.

Manufacturing

How is Edradour whisky produced?Production at Edradour is still very traditional and artisanal. Except for malting, every step of the whisky production is done on site, and by hand. The small scale makes it very clear to visitors how whisky is made. Edradour now owns two distilleries. The original distillery has a traditional cast iron mashtun, two wooden washbacks and two small copper stills. A wash still with a volume of 4,218 liters and a spirit still with a volume of 2,179 liters. One of the many special features of Edradour are the Wormtub condensers, an old method of liquefying the alcohol vapor from the stills. It is said that whiskies with wormtub condensers have a more severe spirit. Definitely conclusive with Edradour.

In the neighboring building, also known as Edradour 2, there are two identical stills and four new washbacks. The expansion between 2016 and 2018 raised Edradour to a production capacity of 500,000 liters of pure alcohol. Most of Scotland’s whisky distilleries produce millions of liters annually. Accordingly, Edradour is still one of the smaller distilleries in Scotland.

Since the takeover by Andrew Symington and Signatory, Edradour has increasingly focused on diversity in wood management. The Highland distillery relies on finishes and full maturation in barrels that previously contained Marsala, Madeira, port wine, Chardonnay, Sauternes, Bordeaux or Burgundy. As a result, in addition to the Edradour 10-year standards and the 12-year-old Caledonia, there is also a series that is bottled under the name ‘Edradour straight from the cask’. Here whisky connoisseurs get the pure authentic whisky as it comes from the barrel. The whisky goes into the bottle without the addition of caramel, without cooling filtering and at cask strength. All highly recommended.

Since 2006, peaty, smoky whiskies from the Edradour distillery have also been available under the brand name Ballechin. Since the expansion of the distillery in 2018, the peaty Ballechin and the unpeated Edradour can be distilled separately. In addition to the production of whisky, Edradour is also a tourist attraction. In the summer months, over 100,000 visitors make a pilgrimage to the cuddly still in the Highlands. In summer, Edradour employs more people in the visitor center than in whisky production. Despite the large number of visitors, we can still recommend Edradour as a travel destination, as well as a whisky source.

History

Edradour’s beginnings date back to 1825. During these years the distillery was still known under the name ‘Glenforres’. The picturesque distillery buildings so popular today date from 1837. In the first 100 years of their existence, Edradour often changed hands. It was not until 1933, when William Whiteley & Co. took over, that there was some continuity in the distillery history. Almost 50 years later, Pernod Ricard took over the distillery in 1982.

In 1986, the distillery’s 10-year-old single malt was first published, but was initially only available in the distillery shop. In mid-2002 Andrew Symington, owner of the independent bottler Signatory, realized his dream of having his own whisky distillery and bought Edradour. As a result, Edradour developed splendidly. In 2016, they had to switch to a 6-day week because of the continued success. This allowed the production capacity to be increased from 90,000 to 130,000 liters annually. The distillery then responded with plans to expand, which started in 2016 and ended in 2018. With the completed distillery expansion, the capacity increased to 500,000 liters.

Distillery Factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Edradour ed*ra*dow*er Highlands Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1825 - Present Malt Edradour Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Andrew Symington Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Company

Edradour Timeline:

1825: Established as Glenforres Distillery by a group of Perthshire farmers as a farm distillery (1837 mentioned as well)

1837: The first year the distillery is mentioned

1841-52: John MacGlashan & Co. is formed by the owners of the distillery as a proprietary company

1860-85: James Reid & Co. when Donald Reid went bankrupt

1886-1933: John McIntosh & Co. when purchased by William Whitely & Co. Ltd., subsidiary of J.G. Turney & Sons of the USA.

1922: Bought by William Whiteley, known as the "Dean of Distillers", with the idea of preserving the distillery as it was. The main reason was to use the output for blending. The "King's Ransome", one of the blends containing Edradour whisky and produced by Whiteley, was in the 1920s considered "the world’s most and expensive whisky". The distillery is renamed Glenforres-Glenlivet Distillery

1947: Electricity was installed in the distillery

1975: Pernod Ricard buys Campbell Distilleries

1982: Campbell Distilleries (Pernod Ricard) buys Edradour and builds a visitor centre in the old malt barn

1986: The first single malt is made available

1992: Acquired by Pernod-Ricard and sold to Highland Distilleries Co. Ltd. ?? (see 1982)

1999: Owned by Campbell Distillers (Pernod Ricard)

2002: Acquired by Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co. Ltd. for £5.4 million. The whisky in stock is worth £3 million. Iain Henderson joins the staff as Director of Operations

2003: As an experiment a heavily peated (50ppm) malt is produced

2006: James McGowan becomes the new distillery manager

2007-Jun: A completely new bottling plant is being built on a part of the carpark