Illicit stills are part of the history of whisky distilling in Scotland; as a distilling site, illicit or otherwise, Tomatin reaches back to the 15th Century when drovers, bringing their cattle over high mountain passes to the market at Tomatin, filled their flasks from a still at the Old Laird’s House, beside the current distillery buildings – perhaps the fore-runner to the current visitor centre! A formal distillery was commissioned on the site in 1897, and at 315 metres above sea level it is one of the highest in the country.
In 1985 the Distillery was re-established as The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd and secured the future of whisky distilling in the Monadhliath hills. Tomatin now operates 12 stills, and in 2007 produced 2.5 million litres.
All whisky distilling requires good water. At Tomatin the Alt-na Frith (Free Burn), which springs up deep within the Monadhliath Mountains, supplies us with as much as we need. This water is combined with top quality barley, and traditional techniques are employed in all 4 stages of the distilling process – malting, mashing, fermentation and distillation. Traditionally our whisky has been used to provide fillings for the major blended whiskies in Scotland, but the emphasis now is very much on the Company own brands, first class malt and blended whiskies which have all won major international awards.