The A9 is the main gateway to the North of Scotland, otherwise known as the Highlands. It’s a dangerous road, with lanes switching from single to dual carriage on a consistent basis. Throw in fixed speed cameras, variable conditions, boy/girl-racers and mobile speed cameras; it’s never possible to switch off. Over the years I’ve seen so many bizarre things on the road but one welcome constant are the distilleries.
It is by no means Speyside with distilleries around every bend. Rather you can expect an interesting mix with the main 3 attractions (Dalwhinnie, Tomatin and Edradour) well spaced out. Each is distinctive and offers a warm welcome for the weary traveler. Edradour also has the benefit of being the first and it just outside the tourist haven of Pitlochry – home also to the Bells distillery.
Set in a wee glen in the hills high above Pitlochry, Edradour has been on this site since 1825. It is wonderfully picturesque with the burn running alongside the distillery and the original buildings clustered around a tiny encampment. Being Scotland’s smallest distillery it has a real sense of charm and authenticity. Production is not high on the agenda, as only 12 casks are produced weekly; compare that to some of the other distilleries I’ve visited here and you’ll appreciate why Edradour is not readily available.
If only every distillery was as charming to look as Edradour; you’d almost forget to visit the tasting room! If you do manage to find a bottle, it’s most likely the 10 year malt which is also available in North America. Light, creamy and easily drinkable it’s not one you need to add water with, but lacks character. Older releases of Edradour or a range of cask finishes are only really available from a delightful shop at the distillery. This has the full range of products and also an amazing selection of specially bottled casks from other notable names.