Tomatin

Tomatin has been a rising star among the Scottish distilleries since the beginning of the millennium. The Highland distillery was the biggest Scottish distillery in the 1970, but the quality of the Whisky wasn’t high regarded. Ups and downs followed and after been new positioned from 2000 onwards Tomatin grew to be one of the most reputable Scottish Whisky brands worldwide.

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Information about the Distillery
314 Bottles
Scotland, Highlands
-4.010019 57.339458
Active
Takara Shuzo
8 t
1897
5,050,000 l
http://www.tomatin.com/
Average tasting notes Tasting notes
i
Nosing
Fruit:
Sweet:
Vanilla:
Sherry:
Zitrus:
Spices:
Peat Smoke:
Caramel:
Berries:
Malt:
Honey:
Oak:
Chocolate:
Apple:
Nuts:
Pear:
Herbs:
Pineapple:
Herb:
Tropical Fruit:
Melon:
Lemon:
Raisin:
Heather:
Cinnamon:
Grape:
Peach:
Orange:
Dried Fruit:
Dark Chocolate:
Plum:
Green Apple:
Lime:
Banana:
Almonds:
Floral:
Alcohol:
Bonfire Smoke:
Cherry:
Coffee:
Oil:
Leather:
Date:
Barley:
Chili:
Fig:
Clove:
Blackberry:
Grass:
Cake:
Ham:
Lemon Peel:
Wheat:
Nutmeg:
Anis:
Mint:
Strawberry:
Hay:
Ginger:
Hazelnut:
Walnut:
Tobacco:
Grapefruit:
Coconut:
Pepper:
Red Currant:
Black Currant:
Maritime Notes:
Salt:
Kiwi:
Medicinal Smoke:
Rye:
Tasting
Fruit:
Sweet:
Spices:
Oak:
Sherry:
Nuts:
Zitrus:
Malt:
Honey:
Peat Smoke:
Caramel:
Chocolate:
Herb:
Vanilla:
Berries:
Oil:
Pepper:
Pear:
Dark Chocolate:
Dried Fruit:
Apple:
Orange:
Pineapple:
Herbs:
Peach:
Cinnamon:
Plum:
Clove:
Grape:
Tropical Fruit:
Ginger:
Coffee:
Lemon:
Chili:
Raisin:
Alcohol:
Banana:
Heather:
Walnut:
Bonfire Smoke:
Almonds:
Leather:
Lime:
Cherry:
Hazelnut:
Melon:
Barley:
Blackberry:
Floral:
Cake:
Tobacco:
Grapefruit:
Nutmeg:
Maritime Notes:
Strawberry:
Mint:
Green Apple:
Wheat:
Fig:
Seaweed:
Salt:
Date:
Kiwi:
Ham:
Black Currant:
Coconut:
Grass:
Lemon Peel:
Red Currant:
Hay:
Anis:
Medicinal Smoke:
Iodine:
Finish
Sweet:
Spices:
Fruit:
Oak:
Nuts:
Sherry:
Peat Smoke:
Malt:
Oil:
Herb:
Zitrus:
Chocolate:
Vanilla:
Dark Chocolate:
Caramel:
Pepper:
Honey:
Alcohol:
Chili:
Orange:
Herbs:
Grape:
Dried Fruit:
Cinnamon:
Coffee:
Berries:
Raisin:
Tropical Fruit:
Pear:
Apple:
Almonds:
Heather:
Pineapple:
Lemon:
Cake:
Grapefruit:
Cherry:
Ginger:
Lime:
Melon:
Green Apple:
Walnut:
Plum:
Lemon Peel:
Peach:
Bonfire Smoke:
Leather:
Tobacco:
Nutmeg:
Date:
Hazelnut:
Barley:
Clove:
Grass:
Anis:
Fig:
Ham:
Hay:
Maritime Notes:
Salt:
Floral:
Mint:
Banana:
Strawberry:
Coconut:
Wheat:
Red Currant:
Blackberry:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Tomatin offers a range of different Single Malt Whiskies, using different type of casks. The Highland Whisky is famous for its fruity and at the same time spicy. The core range includes as well the classic Tomatin style with its unpeated Single Malts as also a new peated line called Cù Bòcan.

The Tomatin Legacy with no age statement, matured in ex-Bourbon and new oak casks, and the Tomatin 12 Years Old, matured in ex-Bourbon casks and finished for 6 to 9 months in Sherry casks, can be looked upon as the fundament of the non-peated range that is supplemented by 14, 15, 18, 21 and 30 Year old releases. Limited single cask releases are also available.
A very special Tomatin called Decades was released in 2011 to celebrate the lifetime commitment of Douglas Campbell. He started working at Tomatin Distillery in 1961 and became Master Distiller in 2008. According to his 5 decades at Tomatin a special release was batched from 5 different casks, each one filled in one of these decades.
An also very famous and special series is Tomatin Cuatro, that consists of four different releases. The spirit for all four Cuatros was distilled at the same day and then matured four 12 years in different kind of casks.
The first peated Cù Bòcan was released in 2013. This peated range has been expanded and forms an one core line now with different Single Malts from Virgin Oak, Bourbon and Sherry casks.

Besides the Tomatin Single Malts the premium blended Scotch Whisky Antiquary is also produced at Tomatin Distillery. The brand was created in 1888, using a name that was taken from a novel of Scotland’s famous poet Sir Walter Scott. There are different releases today: a 12 and a 21 old Antiquary and the standard release without age statement as core range and some older limited releases as special highlights.

Production

Production at Tomatin Distillery has been concentrated on Single Malt Whisky since 2000. According to the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2016 the sales increased to 420.000 bottles in 2014, starting at 100.000 bottles ten years ago. The plan to reach 2.5 million liters production in 2015 is a realistic one - and Tomatin even only uses four of its existing six spirit stills.

The Mashing

10 malt bins, each one containing 50 tonnes, provide the malt for Tomatin production before it passes the mill and gets into the mash tun. The malt comes from large malting plants, but is only made from Scottish barley. Tomatin uses almost exclusively unpeated malt, only one week a year is Whisky produced from peated barley (around 15ppm), which is marketed under the name Cu Bocan. Mashing is done at Tomatin Distillery in a 8 t mash tun of stainless steel. Water comes from the Alt-na-Frith Burn.

The Fermentation

In 12 stainless steel wash backs, each one with a capacity of 42.000 liters, fermentation takes place before the wash is pumped to the stills. Tomatin has the longest fermentation time in the Scotch Whisky industry: 168 hours of fermentation, which is equivalent to a whole week. The result is a very tropical fruity wash with flavours of bananas and overripe melons. 

The Distillation

There are six pairs of stills at Tomatin, of which six wash stills and four spirit stills are still in use today. The wash stills have a capacity of 15,000 litres and the first distillation takes 13 hours. The spirit stills are the same size and shape, as the stills are still based on the original design. The second distillation takes 12 hours, which is proportionally very slow and produces a soft spirit. 

Warehouses

In 13 warehouses Tomatin stores about 170.000 casks. In total, the warehouses have space for about a quarter of a million casks, but the distillery also rents out storage space to 3rd parties. Before beeing filled, casks are looked-after and repaired in Tomatin’s own cooperage. There are all types of caks used for Tomatin Whisky: Sherry butts, port pipes, hogsheads and of course Bourbon barrels. The wide variety of casks at Tomatin also includes Marsala or Madeira casks. 

The History

History of Tomatin Distillery started in 1897 when it was established next to the small village with the same name, about 15 miles south of Inverness. Tomatin is a Gaelic word, meaning “hill of the juniper bush”. At the time the Whisky boom was at its peak and John MacDougall, John MacLeish, Alexander Allan and some more investors formed the Tomatin Spey District Distillery Ltd.

They chose this location in the Highlands for their new distillery because of the fresh water supply here and the railway that passed the place, leading to the near big marketplace called Inverness. Tomatin Whisky was successful and some years later more than 30 houses for the employees were built on site (by the way: even today eighty percent of Tomatin’s employees live here on the campus).

After a short period of closure, Tomatin was taken over by a London Wine trading company in 1909. This company naturally had many Wine casks at its disposal that could also be used for Whisky maturation. Under the new management, Tomatin ran very successfully. In 1956 two more stills joined the two original ones. In 1958 another pair was added and in 1961 the number of the stills increased up to 10. But this was nothing compared to 1974 when Tomatin extended the number of its stills to 23! Tomatin was the largest distillery in Scotland at that time, producing 12 million liters of alcohol annually. Most of it was sold in bulk to other companies and went into Blends such as Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and J&B.
But when the bubble burst the company was forced into liquidation in 1985 and the Japanese company Takara Shuzo Ltd. purchased the distillery in cooperation with the trading company Okura, forming Tomatin Distillery Company ltd.
The focus of Tomatin changed and quality became more important than quantity. Today the Single Malts of Tomatin are well-regarded and demand is growing.

Visitor Centre

The visitor centre and gift shop are open seven days a week all year round from 2016 on.

There are different tours available at Tomatin: the standard tour through the distillery, a tasting tour with six different drams and the Single Cask Experience, an in-depth tour with exploration of cask expressions.

Tomatin also offers the possibility to fill an own bottle of cask strength Tomatin Whisky.

Visitor information

Distillery Address:

Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd
Tomatin
Inverness-shire
IV13 7YT
Tel: +44 (0)1463-248148
Visitor Centre: +44 (0)1463-248144

Opening hours:

Low Season (November - March):
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

High Season (April - October):
Monday - Sunday: 9:30am - 5:30pm

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