Tomatin distillery

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

It is Tomatin’s much improved wood policy which has brought it to the notice of single malt lovers. A higher percentage of first-fill casks – ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry – has given more flesh and structure to the always top-notch spirit.

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status

Tomatin History

Although the first manifestation of Tomatin only ran between 1897 and 1906, its reopening under new management in 1909 saw the start of a remarkable journey which would culminate in this remote Highland outpost in between Aviemore and Inverness becoming the largest malt whisky distillery in Scotland.

Its expansion (and contraction) mirrors accurately the mood of the industry: from two stills to four in 1956, four to six in ‘58, an upping to 11 in ’61 and then in 1974 the most dramatic expansion of all, with 12 stills being installed, bringing the total to 23 and overall capacity to 10m litres per annum.

It couldn’t last. Even in 1974 the first indications of a downturn in Scotch’s fortunes were being noticed. Tomatin never ran at full capacity and in 1986 went into liquidation.

The site was saved however by two of its Japanese bulk customers, Takara Shuzo and Okura & Co [Okura’s stake was taken by Marubeni in 1998], making it the first Scotch distillery to be under Japanese control.  

There has been a slow but steady recalibration ever since. The company bought blending firm J&W Hardie in 1997, adding the prestigious Antiquary blend to its portfolio. Eleven of the stills were taken out of commission in 2000 and today only 2m litres are produced from six wash and four spirit stills.

The other major change has been a shift in emphasis from bulk supply to single malt (as well as Antiquary) – again Tomatin is mirroring the market's continuing evolution. The single malt range has been widened in terms of age statements and introduced a peated variant, Cu Bocan. 


  • 1897 Tomatin distillery is founded by Tomatin Spey Distillery Company
  • 1906 After just nine years in operation, the distillery is closed
  • 1909 Production resumes once more under the Tomatin Distillers Co.
  • 1956 Tomatin's first expansion takes place, were its two stills are increased to four
  • 1958 A further two stills are installed, bringing Tomatin to six
  • 1961 An additional four stills are installed, making 10 in total
  • 1964 A solitary still is added to the existing 10
  • 1974 Tomatin's largest single expansion brings its total still tally to 23, with an annual capacity of 10m litres per year
  • 1985 With demand at a low, Tomatin goes into liquidation
  • 1986 Long-term Japanese customers, Takara Shuzo Co. and Okara & Co., purchase the company
  • 1997 The company purchases blending firm J.W. Hardie and its prestigious blend, Antiquary
  • 1998 Marubeni buys out Okura & Co., which is liquidated
  • 2004 Tomatin launches a 14-year-old single malt
  • 2013 Tomatin's first peated expression, Cu Bocan, is released

Tomatin Facts

  • Capacity (mlpa) i
  • Condenser Type i
    Shell and tube
  • Fermentation Time i
  • Filling Strength i
  • Grist Weight (t) i
  • Heat Source i
    Indirect steam
  • Malt Specification i
    Low peat, 2ppm
  • Malt Supplier i
    Simpsons, Boortmalt, Bairds
  • Mash Tun Type i
  • New-make Strength i
  • Single Malt Percentage i
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
  • Spirit Still Shape i
    Traditional onion shape with ball
  • Spirit Still Size (l) i
  • Stills i
    12 (6 wash, 6 spirit)
  • Warehousing i
    2 dunnage, 12 racked
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
  • Wash Still Shape i
    Traditional onion shape with ball
  • Wash Still Size (l) i
  • Washback Charge (l) i
  • Washback Size (l) i
  • Washback Type i
    Stainless steel
  • Washbacks i
  • Water Source i
    Alt-na Frith or Free Burn
  • Yeast Type i


Parent company

Current owner

Previous owners

  • Okura & Co 1986 - 1998 (joint with Takara Shuzo)
  • Tomatin Distillers 1909 - 1986
  • Tomatin Spey Distillery Company 1897 - 1906


Tomatin Distillery
IV13 7YT
United Kingdom
+44 1463 248144
Visitor Opening Hours
10am to 5pm
10am to 5pm
10am to 5pm
10am to 5pm
10am to 5pm
10am to 5pm (summer)
12.30pm to 4.30pm (summer)


See also

  • The Antiquary The Antiquary The Antiquary Brand

    The Antiquary

    A historic Victorian blend identifiable by its unique gemstone-shaped bottle.

  • J&W Hardie J&W Hardie J&W Hardie Blender

    J&W Hardie

    Proprietor of The Antiquary blended Scotch, and former licensee of Benromach distillery.

  • The Tomatin Distillery Company The Tomatin Distillery Company The Tomatin Distillery Company Distiller & blender

    Tomatin Distillery Company

    Owner of Tomatin distillery and producer of Antiquary, Talisman and Cù Bòcan whiskies.

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