Tamnavulin means ‘mill on the hill’ in Gaelic. The mill was once used by local shepherds to produce their wool but has now been converted into the distillery’s visitor centre.
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web - www.whyteandmackay.co.uk
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How to pronouce Tamnavulin? tam-na-voo-lin
Tamnavulin is a reasonably large and modern yet little known distillery that is located in the centre of the Speyside region, close to the small town of Ballindalloch. The majority of the four million litre capacity went towards a multitude of blended whiskies, until the distillery was mothballed in 1995. Mothballing is the process by which a distillery is closed down but all the equipment remains intact so that production can restart at any time. A very small percentage of Tamnavulin whisky is available as a single malt although the current owners, Whyte & Mackay, plan to increase this now that the distillery has re-opened. There is currently just a 12 years old on the market and this is light, fresh and grassy in character. A few independent bottlings can be found, primarily form Gordon & Macphail, Douglas Laing and Duncan Taylor & Co.
Tamnavulin was founded in 1966 by the Tamnavulin-Glenlivet Distillery Company, which was a newly created arm of Invergordon Distillers Limited. They were responding to a boom in the whisky industry and needed a modern and efficient distillery to help meet the demand. They selected a spot in the beautiful Glen Livet, close to the other distilleries at Braeval, Glenlivet and Tomintoul, on the banks of the famous River Livet. Despite this, the distillery does not gather its water from the river but from the underground Easterton Spring in the surrounding hills. Tamnavulin was later taken over by Whyte & Mackay and they used the whisky from there in their popular range of blends. The distillery was closed in 1995 and was only re-opened in 2007, when Whyte & Mackay were taken over by United Spirits. Their chairman, Vijay Mallya, decided to restart the distillery and this was easy as all the equipment had remained in place. Initial production was just one million litres during 2007 but this was stepped up to the four million litre capacity in 2008.