Edradour is a traditional Single Malt Whisky distillery fromRead more

Edradour is a traditionalScottish Single Malt Whisky distillery located in Piltochry, Perthshire.

Edradour is a traditionalScottish Single Malt Whisky distillery located in Piltochry, Perthshire.

The history of Edradour

Edradour, like many Scottish distilleries, started in the underground at the beginning of the 19th century. From an illicit still, it officially became a farmers' cooperative in 1825. It was not yet called Edradour, but Glenforres, and was managed by Alexander Forbes.

In 1837, with James Scott and Duncan Stewart officially in charge, it took on its final name, Edradour meaning 'the land between two rivers'. It was first officially recorded in 1839.

Another change of hand, in 1853, James Reid became the owner. Thirty years later, he sold the distillery to John McIntosh, the son of one of the founders. Edradour whisky started to make a name for itself.

In 1907, Peter McIntosh, John McIntosh's nephew, took over. He joined forces with John Stewart, a wine and spirits merchant. Together they further developed the brand's reputation and distribution.

Production continued despite the First World War, and later the owners found a unique outlet by associating with the American mafia. One of its godfathers, Frank Costello, buys Edradour whisky which he discreetly smuggles into the United States at the height of prohibition.

At that time, William Whiteley, previously the main customer of the distillery, as owner of the blends House of Lords and King's Ransom, was in charge. When he retired in 1938, he handed over Edradour to Irving Haim, a lieutenant of the godfather Frank Costello.

The arrival of electricity

In 1947, the water mill ceased its activity and the time for modernity came with the arrival of electricity.

In 1982, the distillery was bought by Campbell Distillers, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. The first 10 year old single malt was released in 1986, while the King's Ransom blend disappeared. A large part of the whisky is still sold in bulk for the House of Lords and Clan Campbell blends.

Andrew Symington, owner of the famous independent bottling franchise Signatory Vintage, bought Edradour from Pernod Ricard in 2002. He then put Iain Henderson, ex-director of Laphroaig, in charge of the distillery. Together, they wanted to raise Edradour whisky to the highest level, and decided to release from now on only single casks, with many different finishes.

They also decided to revive Ballechin in 2003. By recovering some of the equipment from this defunct distillery, they recreate its strong peaty style. A new cellar was built in 2010, and all Edradour and Ballechin whiskies are aged on site, alongside the casks that Signatory Vintage has now also brought back.

Edradour's production

Edradour is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, and has retained the charm of its small-scale production. It has retained its rural habits, such as supplying its spent grain to local farmers to feed their livestock.

The malt is brewed with water from the Ben Vrackie springs. The cast iron brewing vessel is over a century old. The wort is cooled with a Morton cooler, also from another time.

After fermentation in Oregon pine vats, distillation takes place in two small traditional pot-stills (the wash still contains 4200L and the spirit still 2200L). Heated over an open fire, they are also equipped with copper coils. These small stills, conducted with manual cuts, produce very sweet and aromatic distillates.

The cellars are rich in casks of all origins, and over 25 different expressions are regularly offered. The cellar master appreciates wine barrels, whether they are from Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, Madeira, Port, Moscatel, Hungary (Tokaji). There have also been successful experiments with rum barrels from Savanna (Reunion Island) or Jamaica. Read less

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