Tobermory Distillery Profile
The island of Mull is located north of the island of Islay and the Isle of Jura. Taking its name from the picturesque and colorful main city on the Isle of Mull, the Tobermory distillery was founded by John Sinclair in 1823 under the name of Ledaig. It is housed in a former brewery, which was xconverted to a whisky distillery in 1798 (though unlicensed at the time), on the northern side of the island. In 1837, it closed its doors, only to be reopened a few years later in 1879. In 1890, it was acquired by John Hopkins and Company. In 1932, it was shut down again, primarily due to the demand for whisky dropping. It reopened as a distillery in 1972, this time using the name of Ledaig Distillery (Tobermory) Ltd.
Unfortunately, bankruptcy loomed, and the distillery again changed hands in 1978, this time to Kirkleavington Property Co from Yorkshire. It produced until 1981, around which time the warehouses were sold off to be turned into residencies. The distillery again closed until 1989, and finally was bought up by the Burnt Stewart group (who also owned Deanston and later would also buy Bunnahabhain) in 1991. The lack of a warehouse meant that for a long time, the maturation took place at the Burnt Stewart distillery at Deanston in the Highlands. In 2007, the old tun room was partially converted to a warehouse for maturation of the Ledaig whisky.
In 2012 and 2013 production was forced to stop due to a shortage in rain, which dried up the loch that Tobermory uses as its water source.
The high-necked stills at Tobermory are fitted with lyne arms that bend at a 90 degree angle. This causes the heavier parts of the distilled alcohol to fall back into the still, and helps producing a slightly lighter and sweeter end product.
Tobermory has 3 whiskies in its core range:
- 10 Years Old – A light unpeated whisky
- 15 Years Old – Matured in sherry casks, it spends most of its maturation on the mainland, and then is transferred back to the Island for the last year of maturation.
- Ledaig 10 – A peated whisky, which still carries the delightful sweetness of Tobermory.
|Water source||A private loch near Mishnish|
|Owned by||Burnt Stewart Distillers|
+(44) 1688 302645
|Mash tun||5 tonnes||1|
|Wash still||18,000 litres||2|
|Spirit Still||15,000 litres||2|
|Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)||1,000,000|