Probably the best single malt whisky (malt whisky, single malt scotch, Scottish single malt whisky) in the world, made in Scotland's smallest distillery, located in the hamlet of Balnaud above the town of Pitlochry, Perthshire.
This beautifully golden whisky is very hard to find, as the production is manually performed by distillery manager John Reid and two assistants for Campbell & Sons under Pernod-Ricard, and results in a mere 12 casks, or a total of 150 gallons per week. Their yearly production is equivalent to a normal distillery's weekly production.
The production goes back several hundred years, and was carried out as a cooperative among farmers beginning in 1825. The present distillery is believed to have been built in 1837, and was officially registered as the John McGlashan company (McGlashan and seven other farmers: Peter Scott, Alexander Forbes, Alexander Stewart, Duncan Stewart, William McIntosh, James Robertson, and James Scott) in 1841.
In 1886 it was sold to an American company, and it is said to have been serving American customers during the US prohibition (1920-1933), leading to rumors about being run directly by the mafia. Until 1947, when electricity was finally installed, a water wheel used the Edradour Burn to run the distillery. Until 1986, the whisky was not sold as is, but was in fact only found in expensive blended whiskies.
Edradour uses local barley, malted and dried over peat fires, and then combined in the one-ton mash tun at 156°F with local spring water that finds its way up through granite and the peat of the Moulin Moor. The product is then cooled in Scotland's last operational Morton refrigerator. Fermentation is carried out in pine washbacks for fifty-six hours.
The law prohibits stills smaller than those used at Edradour for fear that they could be hidden too easily. Thus, Edradour uses the smallest stills permissible, which is an important factor in shaping its taste as the product distills at 180°F. The product redistills as the middle run is chosen to ensure paramount quality. Finally, the spirit rests in Spanish Oloroso sherry oak casks, used first in France for brandy, which will penetrate the wood (but not leak through an unused cask, as whisky would) so as to prevent leakage and add color to the otherwise rather clear spirit.
Edradour has an alcohol level of 40%vol., and is typically sold after aging for ten years. Its taste is unusually smooth with a sweet hint of almonds and a delicate, smoky aftertaste. Although it is a highland whisky, Edradour is described by some as having salty overtones more reminiscent of island whiskies.