Tomatin distillery information
Located at 315 meters (1028 feet) above sea level in the Monadhliath Mountains in the village of Tomatin (south of Inverness, and a few kilometers west of Loch Ness), we find the Tomatin distillery. The site is thought to have been distilling and supplying whisky to locals, the distillery itself was established in 1897, and operated until its bankruptcy in 1906. It reopened under new ownership three years later as Tomtain Distillery Co Ltd, and remained in operation until 1986. During that period, major changes were made to the distillery as in 1956, the amount of stills was doubled from 2 to 4. Two more stills were added in 1958, with additional stills following until in 1974, Tomatin operated no less than 23 stills, making it one of the largest distilleries in Scotland, with a potential annual produce of up to 12 million liters. Since then, several of the stills were removed, and currently the distillery would be able to produce 5 million lpa, though they normally produce less than half that.
In 1985, Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd went into liquidation, and the distillery transferred ownership to the Japanese Takara Shuzo Co. and Okara & Co, making it the first Scottish distillery in Asian hands. Shortly after, Takara Shuzo Co acquired Okara, making Takara the sole owner of the distillery.
Tomatin was the first distillery to switch from the traditional mash tun (which uses rakes to turn the barley) to a so-called Lauter mash-tun, which employs the use of rotating knives. This assists in extracting starch from the barley in the mash, and leads to a clearer wort.
Currently the distiller offers the following whiskies:
- Legacy – light and delicate, in the traditional Tomatin style. The whisky is matured in Virgin Oak casks.
- 12 Years Old
- 14 Years Old – Finished in Port pipes
- 18 Years Old – Finished in Oloroso casks
- 1988 – A limited release whicky, matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-Port casks.
- Cù Bòcan – Named after a legendary hellhound, this is a lightly peated (15 ppm) Tomatin.
The distillery also offers several of its blends:
- Ancient Clan
- The Antiquary
- Big T
- Grand Alistair
- Legendary Scot
Lastly, there are several limited releases you might be lucky enough to find:
- Cù Bòcan 1989 – Created from the produce of three casks, this is a limited version of the regular Cù Bòcan.
- 15 Year Old – Matured in Bourbon barrels and Tempranillo wine casks
- 21 Years Old
- 40 Years Old
- Antiquary 1977
|Water source||Alt-na Frith|
|Owned by||Takara Shuzo Co.|
+(44) 1463 248144
|Mash tun||8 tonnes||1 (Lauter tun, stainless steel)|
|Washback||7,000 litres||12 (stainless steel)|
|Wash still||16,800 litres||6|
|Spirit Still||16,800 litres||6|
|Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)||5,050,000|
Images courtesy of Tomatin.com