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Issue 129 - The Myth, The Mafia and The Magic

Whisky Magazine Issue 129
July 2015

 

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The Myth, The Mafia and The Magic

Edradour, one of the last ‘farm distilleries'

Edradour used to claim that it was Scotland's smallest distillery, and commentators were keen to point out that if the stills were any smaller they would be illegal. They noted that the weekly output was equivalent to the annual production of most large, modern plants.

With the epidemic of craft distillery creation which is sweeping Scotland, the ‘smallest distillery' claim is no longer valid, but Edradour surely still holds the record as Scotland's most photogenic distillery. Essentially, it is a cluster of venerable, lime-washed and red-painted farm-style buildings, grouped around a burn in the hills, a couple of miles from the Perthshire tourist centre of Pitlochry.

Inside, Edradour does not disappoint either. Production methods are very traditional, and feature a small, cast iron open mashtun dating from 1910 and a pair of Oregon pine washbacks, while the two stills are linked to a worm tub which is 100 years old.

Along with Glenturret, Edradour can be seen as the last surviving example of the once numerous Perthshire ‘farm distilleries,' and it received its first official mention in 1837, though a farmer's distilling co-operative had been founded in 1825. The farming partners went on to form John MacGlashan & Co in 1841 to formalise their whisky-making operation.

In 1922 William Whiteley & Co Ltd, a subsidiary of American distiller JG Turney & Sons, purchased Edradour to provide malt for its blends, which included King's Ransom and House of Lords. Whitele...

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