During the early 1980s, the owners built a commercial eel farm next to Tomatin. They used the large amount of excess waste warm water produced by the distillery to help the eels grow faster than in the wild. However, this was a shortlived venture as the farm closed in 1985 when the distillery went in to liquidation.
tel - +44(0)1808 511 444
web - www.tomatin.com
Tours around Tomatin distillery available Monday to Friday all year around plus Saturdays during summer. Admission charges apply.
Tomatin is a distillery located high in the Grampian mountains, between Inverness and Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. It is a large distillery that currently produces five million litres of whisky per year, but despite this remains one of Scotland's least known distilleries. This may be due to the fact that around 80% of the whisky produced at Tomatin is used in a variety of blended whiskies including the Antiquary and Talisman ranges as well as the Culloden Cream liqueur. The name of Tomatin is translated as ‘the hill of the juniper bush’ from Gaelic and the water for making their whisky is taken from the local Allt-na-Frithe burn (the ‘free burn’ in Gaelic) that runs next to the distillery.
There are records of an illegal distillery on the site of Tomatin that date back to the 15th century. The modern Tomatin distillery was founded by a consortium of local businessmen in 1897, under the name of the Tomatin Spey Distillery Company. However, within a decade they had been declared bankrupt and a new consortium rescued the distillery and production restarted in 1909. The number of stills was increased on five different occasions during the 1950s and 1960s, until by 1974 it had 23 stills and a massive capacity of 12 million litres of whisky per year. This made Tomatin the largest whisky distillery in Scotland at the time until the company operating it went into liquidation in 1985. The rescue package came from a Japanese company called the Takara Shuzo Corporation in 1986 and their involvement made Tomatin the first Scottish whisky distillery to be owned by Japanese investors. In 1998, the Takara Shuzo Corporation became part of the Marubeni Group, who are the current owners. Despite the distillery now running at a reduced capacity (6five million litres per year), the single malt range and promotion has been increased by the Murubeni Group and currently includes 12, 15, 18, 25, 30 and 40 years old whiskies.