Alright! I found a faster connection via the airport service that I signed up for my first day here, so I'm rocking with photos now. We pulled up to Edradour in the middle of a downpour, but by the time we left the sun was starting to shine through the grey mountain mist. That gave us a chance to snap a few pictures of this fairy tale-esque, tiny distillery. With the river running through the middle, the sound of running water permeates every room in the facility, even in the warehouse while we were going through barrels. Des met us on our arrival and immediately took us up to the store for some tasting.
If you've ever thought to yourself, "Why don't we get that bottle in the states?" I can give you reason number one right now: our stupid 750ml liquor bottles. No one else in the world (except South Africa) bottles at that measure and no one else designates that liquor must come in that or 375ml sizes. Edradour has a TON of different expressions and only 5% of them are available in the U.S. because they bottle single cask expressions in 500ml bottles. They don't want to deal with the bureaucracy involved with getting them stateside, so they say just forget it. We're really missing out as you can see from the shelves above.
The distillation room at Edradour is cute like a babies little fingers are cute. So teeny tiny, so adorable! They only make about mash about 1.15 tons of barley a day for distillation, but MAN! was that barley aromatic and delicious smelling. David and I stuck our heads in the tank and couldn't believe how fragrant it was. The stills are wide and dumpy which allows the heavier alcohols to find their way through and that makes Edradour an oily, chewier malt. The whole place is so quaint and wonderful, and because Edradour is owned by Signatory, the shop is full of their amazing bottlings as well.
So then began the Signatory side of today's business. I don't want to reveal too much until it all gets worked out, but if we have our way this will be the year that K&L resurrects the departed and forgotten distilleries of the Lowlands. I've had such education on this trip and I never realized how much I DIDN'T know until now. The indy bottling business is tough and right now it is next to impossible for these guys to get new casks. Signatory was smart and they went big a few years back when they saw this trend coming. They're sitting on some wonderful barrels and they let David and I run freely through their selection as we jumped up and down, high-fiving, and thinking to ourselves, "Oh my God! We can really take this?"
As David and I sit here at the Hitlon bar, drinking a beer, conducting business via the internet and getting ready to fly back, I know we're both as exhausted as we are excited. I can't wait to get back and share some of the experiences we've had on this trip with all of our customers. I've also got loads of great video for the blog when I get a better connection back at home. Until then.