Pitlochry, Scotland: Highlands

Established in 1825, Edradour whisky distillery has long held the title of Scotland’s smallest distillery. Its annual output of 90,000 litres is roughly equivalent to what the big distilleries put out each week, and it requires a team of just three men to run.

Edradour’s stills are the smallest of any distillery in Scotland, and are also the smallest possible size permitted by law, just larger than the size deemed by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs as “portable” (in other words, potentially able to be hidden and used for illicit distilling).

Like Kilchoman on Islay, Edradour is considered a traditional farm distillery, and remains quite firmly artisanal in nature.

Under its previous owners, Pernod Ricard, most of Edradour’s production was funneled into blended whiskies. This changed after the distillery was bought by Signatory in 2002, when the focused switched to producing single malts, many of them matured entirely or finished in a variety of interesting casks. A heavily peated malt was also introduced; at phenol levels of approximately 50PPM, Ballechin is one of the most heavily peated malts produced outside Islay.

Edradour has a long association with the USA, an important market throughout the years for its whiskies. During the 1920s, much of Edradour’s output allegedly ended up in the USA during Prohibition, and unsubstantiated rumours continue to abound that the distillery was briefly owned by the Mafia during this period of its history.

Edradour’s whisky also features strongly in the events immortalised in Compton Mackenzie’s 1947 novel Whisky Galore and the film based on it, given that a significant proportion of the cargo being carried by the SS Politician to New York consisted of bottles of Edradour. When the ship struck rocks just off the island of Eriskay, the islanders made sure to save both the crew and the cargo, “liberating” somewhere in the region of 2,000 cases (or 24,000 bottles) of whisky before the authorities arrived.

Address: Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5JP
Website: www.edradour.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1796 47 2095
Opening Hours & Tours Please contact the distillery directly for up-to-date opening hours and tour times/prices