The origins of whisky production in Tomatin are hard to be precise about – the formal distillery that operates today was indeed established in 1897 but there is reason to believe that whisky production, albeit illegal, has been an important part of life in the area around Tomatin since the 1700s.
The name itself gives an insight into this secret past: “Tomatin” translates to “Hill of the Juniper Bush”, as juniper wood gives off no smoke while burning it has long been a favourite of illicit distillers who must keep their practice secret.
Skipping forward to today, Tomatin Distillery produces a range of single malt and blended Scotch Whiskies, most notable of which is their award-winning Tomatin Single Malt. Claiming to offer the ‘softer side of the Highlands’, Tomatin Single Malts are unlike their traditional, rugged Highland single malt counterparts, and much lighter, fruitier and softer in taste.
The range is sold in over 60 international markets and in recent years has seen great growth as people around the world are discovering its varied and diverse range of whiskies.
The distillery has a first class wood policy, overseen by their Master Distiller Graham Eunson, who recently celebrated 30 years’ in the whisky industry. This allows the team to put together a remarkable core range which includes various combinations of Bourbon, Sherry, Port and Virgin Oak cask maturations ranging from young, no-age statements up to an ongoing 36 year old (previously awarded ‘Best Scotch’ at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition). They also have an impressive range of older limited release single cask whiskies.
Tomatin has become known for their limited releases, which are matured in interesting casks including Caribbean Rum, various types of Sherry, Moscatel and several different wine casks. They have even produced short videos to accompany these drams and create more of an at-home experience in these Covid times.
Images kindly supplied by Tomatin Distillery.