Whisky from Edradour was the main constituent in the legendary 'King's Ransom' blend during the 1920s and 1930s. At the tim, 'King's Ransom' was the most expensive whisky on the market and became a favourite of Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin,
tel - +44(0)1796 472 095
web - www.edradour.co.uk
Tours through Edradour Distillery are available all week during summer. Free. Shop open year round Monday to Saturday.
How to pronouce Edradour? edra-dow-wer
The name Edradour is thought to derive from the Gaelic 'edred dobhar' meaning 'the stream of King Edred'. Edradour is Scotland's smallest distillery, producing just 90,000 litres of whisky each year. The picturesque farm buildings and the 'smallest' tag helps the distillery be one of Scotland's most visited, attracting approximately 100,000 tourists per year. Edradour is housed in its original farm buildings and little has changed, except the introduction of electricity in 1947 and the conversion of an out barn into the visitors centre during the 1980s. Everything at Edradour is small with all the distilling equipment (a mash tun, two washbacks and a pair of oddly shaped stills) crammed into one room. All processes use traditional methods with no automation and much of the equipment being made from wood. The pair of stills are also the smallest size permitted for commercial distilling by the Customs & Excise department.
Edradour single malt did not appear until the mid 1980s and current owners, Signatory Vintage, have significantly raised the distillery's profile and experimented with and expanded the core range. This included maturation in different, less traditional wine casks, including port, Sauternes, Madeira, Burgundy, chardonnay and super tuscan and other spirit casks, such as rum. They also decided to recreate a traditional smoky style of highland whisky that had died out in the early 20th century. This was first released in 2006 and is called Ballechin.
Eight local farmers set up a co-operative in 1825 with the aim of setting up a legal distillery close to the town of Pitlochry. The central Highlands was a hotbed of illegal distilling during this time, due to the difficulty and remoteness of the location. They combined their resources and purchased some farm buildings. The location they selected was extremely picturesque and this has allowed Edradour to survive, as a succession of owners have consistently decided to maintain and promote the distillery's 'charm'. The original name of the distillery was Glenforres and this was changed to Edradour in 1837. Somehow, Edradour survived numerous tough times when other larger distilleries have fallen by the wayside. In 1922, the distillery was taken over by giant Glasgow blending company, William Whiteley and Co. They changed the name back to Glenforres and used the whisky produced there in some of their premium blends. Campbell Distillers, who were later to become a part of the Pernod Ricard group, took over in 1982. They saw the potential for marketing the distillery due to its size, setting and use of traditional distillery methods. It was renamed Edradour and a visitor centre was opened later that year. The first ever Edradour single malt whisky was released as a 10 years old in 1986. The distillery was sold to Andrew Symington of Signatory Vintage, an independent bottling company based in Edinburgh. Signatory introduced much innovation and quickly expanded the range of whisky available.