Edradour distillery

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The low-slung farm buildings contain traditional equipment – mashing is in a one tonne, open-topped, rake and plough mash tun, the wort is cooled in a replica of an old ‘Morton’s refrigerator’, the washbacks are wooden, the tiny stills lead into worm tubs.

The make is robust but fruity and since the Signatory takeover, ex-Sherry casks have been the preferred destination for the new make. A wide number of fortified wine and still wine casks have also been used for ‘finishing’. Ballechin, on the other hand, which is also produced at the distillery, is deemed to show itself better in ex-Bourbon casks. 

  • Region
    Highland
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status
    Working
  • Brands produced here
    Ballechin

Edradour History

Another of central Perthshire’s multiplicity of farm distilleries, Edradour started production at its current site in 1837, although one of the farmers who formed that original consortium, Duncan Forbes, had been legally distilling close by since 1825. The plentiful supplies of water, tight, hidden glens, and access to back roads into Perth, made this a prime area for moonshining, so it is entirely possible (even probable) that Forbes knew the intricacies of whisky-making before going legit.

It remained associated with the original grouping until 1933, when the Mackintosh family sold it as a (barely) going concern to the famous blending house of William Whitely. Quite why Whitely bought such a small distillery – it was Scotland’s tiniest for many years – has never been fully explained. The firm had built up a solid business in the US during Prohibition with its King’s Ransom blend, thanks to Whitely’s appointment of none other than Mafia boss Frank Costello as his US sales representative. Five years later, Costello’s associate Irving Haim took over as Edradour’s owner, with Costello (and his firm) taking a share of sales of King’s Ransom. This slightly unusual arrangement lasted until Haim’s death in 1976.

In 1982 the distillery, once again in a bad state, was sold to Pernod Ricard subsidiary Campbell Distillers who immediately opened it to visitors. It continued to play a low-key role in blends until 1986, when it first appeared as a single malt.

In 2002, Pernod Ricard deemed it surplus to its requirements and it was sold to independent bottler Signatory Vintage. It was a perfect fit. Since then, Signatory has built extensive warehousing for its own casks, a bottling line, a tasting room and expanded production to include heavily peated variant Ballechin. One of the prettiest distilleries in Scotland, Edradour remains a major tourist attraction.

Timeline

  • 1837 Edradour is founded in Perthshire by a group of farmers
  • 1841 The collective form John MacGlashan & Co to run the distillery
  • 1886 Edradour is acquired by John McIntosh & Co
  • 1933 The distillery is sold to William Whiteley & Co
  • 1982 Campbell Distilleries, part of Pernod Ricard buys the distillery and adds a visitors' centre
  • 1986 Edradour's first single malt is released
  • 2002 The distillery is bought by Signatory's Andrew Symington for £5.4m
  • 2006 The distillery releases its first peated Ballechin
  • 2007 A madeira-matured Ballechin starts an annual run of wine cask-finished whiskies
  • 2014 Ballechin 10 Year Old is launched

Owners

Parent company

Current owner

  • Edradour Distillery Company

Previous owners

  • Pernod Ricard 1982 - 2002
  • William Whiteley & Co 1933 - 1982
  • John McIntosh & Co 1886 - 1933
  • James Reid & Co 1860 - 1885
  • John MacGlashan & Co 1841 - 1860
  • John MacGlashan and local farmers 1837 - 1841

Contact

Address
Edradour Distillery
Pitlochry
Perthshire
PH16 5JP
United Kingdom
Website
Visit Website
Phone
+44 1796 472095
Visitor Opening Hours
Monday
10am to 5pm (Apr-Oct)
Tuesday
10am to 5pm (Apr-Oct)
Wednesday
10am to 5pm (Apr-Oct)
Thursday
10am to 5pm (Apr-Oct)
Friday
10am to 5pm (Apr-Oct)
Saturday
10am to 5pm (Apr-Oct)
Sunday
Closed

Map

See also

  • Blair Athol Blair Athol Blair Athol Distillery & brand

    Blair Athol

    The home of Bell's blended whisky.

  • Bell's Bell's Bell's Brand

    Bell's

    The UK’s best-selling blended Scotch.

  • Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Company Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Company Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Company Independent bottler

    Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co

    Perthshire-based independent bottler and owner of Edradour distillery.

  • Deanston Deanston Deanston Distillery & brand

    Deanston

    One of Scotland’s greenest distilleries.

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