If you ever find yourself in Pitlochry and there is only time to tour one distillery, what a terrible plight, choose the one up the hill: Edradour. It is small and personable with a fine gift shop. The guide that took our group through was top notch. I arrived early at 09:30 despite my abysmal cycling and I observed this older lady with a cane arriving. She gave me a very pleasant hello and went on in. As it transpired, this lady was our tour guide, no cane in evidence. Just being around whisky is very healthy for you! She is a natural comic and responded to impertinent questions with mock ferocity and a “Coca cola for you!” When our guide was being asked in the gift shop what the little 200 ml bottles of whisky were for, she deadpanned “Those are just the right size for washing your pills down in the evening.” This lovely little distillery knows how to run a tour. We paid 7 pounds, 50 pence and sat through a nice video. Then we were given 2 nice drams of whisky in a Glencairn glass and told to keep the glass, a £4.99 value.
It was at Edradour that the inspiration for this College came to me.
An earnest young Swiss man who was touring through with his father asked me what my story was since I was travelling on my own. I told him that I was studying for my masters degree in whisky appreciation from the Canadian College of Whisky Knowledge and this field trip to Scotland is an essential part of my whisky education.
When the tour came to a close in the tasting room I confessed that the Canadian College existed only in my imagination. The Swiss fellow thanked me for my honesty, told me that I was most entertaining and bought me a dram of 26 year old Edradour which was one of the best drams I have had the privilege to enjoy. How rewarding for me!
The tasting room is not open to the public, but those who have come through the tour can linger as long as they wish and buy 26 year old whisky by the dram. My tasting notes give “buy them” ratings to the 10 year old Edradour, a nice light floral dram, the Sauternes Cask Matured, light, sweet, bites at the finish, 18 year old Oloroso Sherry Cask Matured bottle # 49 of 599 59% alcohol natural cask strength, vanilla, sweet, smooth finish, 26 year old matured in oak for 20 years, then 6 years in a sherry cask. Lovely, sweet, it purrs down your throat! As you may recall I arrived at 09:30 at Edradour. By the time I zipped down the hill it was 2:00 pm and I had done my best to know what the distillery has to offer.