George, our Wild Boar Inn Master of Malt, has chosen Edradour 10 Year old for his September Malt of the Month. Although officially the smallest traditional farm distillery in Scotland, Edradour has a big history and is an extremely popular destination for visitors from around the world.
Eradour, the smallest distillery in Scotland
A Model Village or a Distillery?
There seem to be two translations of Edradour to choose from, ‘the land between two rivers’ or ‘Edred Dobhar’ meaning the stream of King Edred. Whichever you choose, the distillery is perfectly placed beside a fast paced fresh water supply not far from the central Highlands town of Pitlochry.
The site of the distillery itself is quite unique with whitewashed farm buildings and picket fences, more like a model village than a commercial production facility. On your approach, the site offers a feeling of ‘coming home’ in a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ type of way.
Established in 1825 as a local farmers co-operative, the distillery has exchanged hands a fair few times over the years and has included at least one shareholder with dubious credentials. Frank Costello, New York mafia Godfather invested heavily in the distillery in 1938 before handing it on to various international consortiums.
I wonder if the mafia had anything to do with the sinking of a ship off the island of Eriskay in 1941. This was the famous story of 20,000 cases of whisky, including blends from Edradour, that were lost overboard, several finding their way into the hands of the locals ‘entrepreneurs’. Compton McKenzie went on to immortalise this story in ‘Whisky Galore’ and I hope we have all seen the hilarious film of the same title.
Keeping it Traditional
Little has changed in the production process at Edradour since 1825. The distillery is in the original farm buildings and mash tun, washbacks and a pair of stills (the smallest permissible for commercial distilling) all snugly fit into one room.
There’s no automation and much of the equipment is made from wood. Incredibly they manage to produce 90,000 litres of whisky annually expressed through no less than 25 different and distinct flavours of single malt including Ballechin, a range of heavily peated malts and a range matured solely in wine casks with a depth of flavour and character emerging from the barley and sweet fruits of the wine.
Whisky Tasting at The Wild Boar
Here at The Wild Boar, we host regular Whisky Tasting Evenings to enable you to learn more about this classic age-old spirit. Take a look at The Wild Boar Events page and join George at our next whisky tasting event.
George Hutton, Master of Malt