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Scotlands smallest distillery…or something..

Hi again. Today I have mostly been looking at two bottles of Edradour that has been living on my kitchen floor for three months so I guess it is finally time to do something about them. At least drink the whisky but also write about them as Edradour is one of the more distinct distilleries in Scotland.

So, Edradour…the distillery that previously called itself Scotlands smallest distillery…which it is not anymore because of all the newer ones popping up like Eden Mill and Strathearn to name a couple. So now it is Scotlands smallest traditional distillery. Don´t worry, it is still small even when they doubled their capacity a few years back. They went from 130 000 litres to 260 000 litres when they built a new extension. So still quite small, but not too small anymore. They state to have been established in 1825 but the destillation at the old farm they are located at started in 1837.

The small stream that flows beside Edradour

In the early days Edradour was used in blends, like House of Lords and King´s Ransom, but when Pernod Ricard bought the distillery in 1982 they also started bottling a single malt 10 year old from 1986 onwards. In 2002 Andrew Symington (owner of Signatory brand) bought Edradour from Pernod Ricard and has been the owner since. He decided early on that he wants to also create a peated expression called Ballechin and the first peated whisky was released in 2006.

Where the magic happens

One very noticeable feature of Edradour is the multitude of different bottlings they do. The core range is very limited( Edradour: 10yr and 12yr, Ballechin: 10yr) but the small batches they do are a very random lot. Andrew definitely likes to play with casks and different finishes so there is a lot to choose from (rum cask, wine casks, sherry casks, and whatnotcasks). And some are bottled at 46% and some at cask strength so there is definitely something for everyone.

Edradour is also a very nice place to visit. Easy to access from Edinburgh and the scenery is lovely. I have been there 4 times so far and I will go back again. You always feel welcome there and the tour is nice and the bar is excellent (both Edradour and Signatory bottles on the shelf and prices are reasonable).

So, how are the whiskies? Let´s have a look..

Edradour OB 10 year old 40% Bottling date 30.03.2022

Nose: Dark fruits, vanilla, black currant, light cherry, raspberry jam

Taste: Toffee, honey, berries, vanilla, cocoa powder, buttery, light spices in the background

Finish: Sweet berry jam and light vanilla

Score: 84/100

Verdict: : A quite basic but nice sherried non-peated whisky. Easy to like and easier to drink. You notice that the whisky is a bit heavy and oily as the stills are rather short and chubby, like the author of this blog. This is a good go to whisky. But if you want more sherry then go for the 12 year old.

Ballechin OB 10 year old 46%, 22.07.2019

Nose: Peat, vanilla, salinity, smoked ham, ripe fruits

Taste: Peat, light ash, vanilla, honey, salt liqorice, sweet malt, light fruits

Finish: Sweet peat and light ash

Score: 83/100

Verdict: A basic peated whisky that definitely can compete with all the other highland whiskies that are peated like Ardmore and BenRiach and it does not pale against Islay malts either. This is definitely something all peatheads should try as it has its own character and profile.

But wait, what is the third glass in the picture? Well, glad you asked. As I am one that likes to experiment I poured 1cl of Edradour 10yr and 1cl of Ballechin 10yr in the glass…so how does it blend? But do note, it is still single malt whisky as it has all been produced at the same distillery.

Edrachin 10yr 43%

Nose: light peat, berries, vanilla, fruits,

Taste: fruity, peat, salted liqorice, oak, vanilla, honey

Finish: sweet with a light wisp of peat

79/100

Verdict: No, I will not become a master blender..this was not a great success at least this time. So enjoy both single malts separately and don´t mix them 🙂 But hey, I tried…

Until next time…

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