Edradour is the smallest Whisky distillery in Scotland and was founded in 1825 by local farmers in Pertshire, close to the town of Pitlochry in northern Scotland. Initially the distillery was named ‘The Glenforres Distillery’. Business went well and in 1841 a few of the farmers formed an official registered company called the ‘John McGlashan and Company’. The company later passed into American hands and remained so until 1922 when it was acquired by William Whitely who wished to use it in his blended whisky. He created the ‘Kings Ransom’ which soon became an immensely popular blended whisky.
Pernod Ricard bought the distillery in 1982 and ran it until early in the year 2000 when it was acquired by the independent bottling company Signatory. The new owners contracted Ian Henderson, who had been the front figure at Laphroaig for many years, as the Director of Operations.
Edradour bottled their first Single Malt in 1986.
Production at Edradour
Edradour use water from the Edradour Burn which flows right through the distillery. The barley is purchased in weekly batches and is already malted, slightly peated and ground. The open-top Mash tun is made from cast iron and dates back to 1825. The Mash tun is not the only original equipment still in use at the distillery. In general, change happens slowly at Edradour. For example, the distillery did not introduce electricity until 1947.
The two washbacks are made from Oregon pine and each hold 1 000 litres. The two Boiling Ball model stills are the smallest in Scotland, the wash still holds 4 000 litres and the spirit still holds 2000 litres. Actually, the Edradour stills are the smallest possible as prescribed by Excise regulations.
Only 12-15 casks per week is produced at Edradour, which adds up to an annual production of 90 000 litres. An interesting comparison is that it takes an average modern distillery approximately one week to equal the annual output at Edradour. As much as 90 percent of the whisky is bottled as single malt and the rest is used in Edradour’s own blended ‘Kings Ransom’ and in their whisky liquor ‘Edradour Cream’.
Experiments are currently under way with heavily peated malt. The new whisky is named ‘Ballechin’ and will be presented to the market in a few years.
Edradour signPhone: +44 (0) 1796 472 095
Fax: +44 (0) 1796 472 002
Distillery Manager: John Reid
Visitors: The Malt Barn was converted to a modern visitors centre in 1992. The tours are free of charge and no advance booking is needed for parties fewer than 15 people.
Opening hours are:
March-October: Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5:00pm, Sundays 12:00noon-5:00pm
November-Mid December: Monday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm
Even if the distillery should be closed for visitors, the gift shop is open all year round except for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year period.
Owner: Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co Ltd.