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Edradour distillery stands on the outskirts of Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire, close to the centre of Scotland. Although the distillery itself dates from 1837, it’s founder Duncan Forbes was distilling at an alternative site at least as early as 1825.
With it’s name taken from the Gaelic Eadar Dhà Dhobhar, meaning ‘between two rivers’, Edradour was known for many years as the smallest of Scotland’s distilleries, a title it has since lost to Strathearn. Now owned, since 2002, by independet bottler, Signatory Vintage, the distillery produces a range of exciting malts, with sherry and wine casks used regularly for finishing and part of the year spent producing a heavily peated version known as ‘Ballechin’.
Perhaps one of the most well known of Edradour whiskies however, is the one named for a certain smash hit song. When Dougie MacLean wrote ‘Caledonia’ in a beach in Brittany back in 1977 he could scarcely have imagined that it would one day lead to his name featuring on the label of a fine single malt whisky…
“I was in my early 20s and had been busking around with some Irish guys. I was genuinely homesick. I’d always lived in Perthshire. I played it to the guys when I got back to the youth hostel where we were staying and that was the final straw – we all went home the next day.”
Today, some 40 years after it’s release, the song has become part of Scottish culture, even something of an unofficial national anthem. Fitting then, that it should be further immortalised as a single malt whisky. Originally selected by MacLean himself, the current expression begins life in bourbon casks before a secondary maturation in Oloroso casks of 4 to 5 years prior to bottling at £46% abv.
“For me, the location of Edradour, with its neat cluster of whitewashed buildings, traditional equipment and employment of ancient methods of making single malt whisky, combined with its state of the art bottling facility, typify Caledonia.”
Smell: Dried Fruits, Salted Caramel, Heather Honey, Fragrant Orange and Milk Chocolate.
Taste: Slightly Nutty with Toffee, Raisins and Sultana’s and light, spicy Oak.
Value for Money: A rather delicious dram which is immensely drinkable despite it’s higher bottling strength. Well worth the £50 price tag.