Edradour Distillery was founded in 1825 by a cooperative of local farmers headed by one Alexander Forbes. Originally titled Glenforres the distillery was moved to it’s current site in 1834 and renamed Edradour meaning ‘the land between two rivers’. For many years it was one of the smallest distilleries in the country but for one so small it has certainly made an impact.
In 1933 Edradour was purchased by William Whiteley, the man behind blended scotch ‘King’s Ransom’. Whiteley was a shrewd businessman and, prior to his acquisition of Edradrour, he struck up a healthy working relationship during prohibition in the US with none other than Frank Costello, the mafia boss nicknamed ‘Prime Minister of the Underworld’, head of the Luciano crime family and inspiration behind the Godfather trilogy. Costello provided the supply route for Whiteley’s brands and made it his duty as ‘sales representative’ to ensure bars were well stocked.
William Whiteley decided to retire in 1938 and his business (including Edradour) was bought over by American bootlegger Irving Haim – a known associate of Costello. Inevitably, questions were asked regarding Costello’s involvement in this acquisition and in 1950 he was grilled by the US senate about his financial affairs, including any link to Whiteley whisky brands. Costello stated that while he tried to buy the Whiteley Company, he was unsuccesful and it went instead to Haim. The small matter of Costello’s Alliance Distrubutors company being awarded the exclusive distribution rights for Whiteley brands in the US was, I’m sure, complete coincidence…
Ownership of the distillery changed hands first in 1976 when it was sold by the descendants of Irving Haim to an American / Australian consortium and then again in 2002 when it was bought by Signatory Vintage Ltd who have since released a large variety of different expressions and established a Visitor Centre that opens April to October.
I’m going to be reviewing the standard 10 year old Edradour, it’s 40% ABV and has likely been chill filtered but to their credit it’s bottled at natural colour. On the nose there’s Vanilla and Honey, some Floral notes, some Citrus and even some Sherry notes like Raisins and Sultanas. The palate is quite oily (despite the low ABV & chill filtering) with notes of Caramel and Toffee, Biscuit, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Orange and Baked Apples. Quite an interesting dram it has to be said.
The Scores: About the scoring system…
Smell: 17 / 20. Interesting and appealing nose. Slightly floral highland malt with subtle sherry influence.
Taste: 16.5 / 20. Great mouthfeel for a 40% whisky, good flavour and complexity.
Value for Money: 9 / 10. Should come in around £35. For those looking to try an affordable entry level whisky that’s a little bit different from the big name ‘supermarket’ brand single malts this is a great buy.
Overall: 42.5 / 50.