Tomatin was built in 1897. Tomatin means Hill of Juniper, which, on the face of it is more associated with gin. However, in times of illicit whisky production, whisky stills were well hidden and it was the smoke from the fire under the still that could give the game away. Juniper is virtually smokeless!
Tomatin is one of the nearest distilleries to Inverness and its visitor centre and whisky tours a very popular. Most of the distillery workers still live on site – a reflection of tradition and its isolated location. Tomatin has moved from being a a component in blends to a significant player in the single malt whisky market.
Tomatin is exposed to extremes in the weather and is well used to dealing with snow. However, in February 1978 the roof on some of the buildings collpased under the weight of the snow, estimated to be up to 7 foot on some of the roofs.
Tomatin Distillery Tours
The Tomatin Distillery Visitor Centre is normally open all year round for distillery tours and tastings however, in the current Covid-19 climate, check their website for the latest opening times and tour availability. It’s always recommended you book in advance especially as Tomatin is close to Inverness and Aviemore so can get very busy.
Pre Covid-19 there were three main tours at Tomatin giving you the chance to explore the distillery at different levels. The Taste of Tomatin Tour was an enhanced experience with a distillery tour followed by a tutored nosing and tasting of 6 different whiskies from the core range over 2 hours. The Single Cask Experience Develops an appreciation of the importance of cask selection with an in-depth distillery and warehouse tour concluding with a tutored nosing and tasting of 5 different distillery exclusive single cask expressions. Allow about two and a half hours.
The Legacy Tour
A tour of the Tomatin distillery and opportunity to learn about the unique legacy of Tomatin which, having started in 1897, is integral to the company today. Followed by a whisky tasting. Allow at least one hour fifteen minutes.
The Tomatin Distillery Visitor Centre is the starting point for tours. There is also a distillery film room. There is an extensive shop which includes some hard to find expressions. There is a small whisky bar for sampling.
How to get to Tomatin Distillery
Tomatin Distillery lies about 16 miles south of the Highland Capital, Inverness. It’s not readily accessible by public transport and many visitors would take a taxi from Inverness. Tomatin is a very popular stop on the Highland region’s whisky bus tours and is often included in private whisky tour itineraries. It’s often included in bus tours from Inverness heading down to lower Speyside.
If you are driving, please note that drink driving laws in Scotland are extremely strict and there is a zero tolerance policy. You need to have a designated driver.