Tomintoul Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey logo.

Tomintoul Distillery

  • Scotland
  • 2023 International Spirits Challenge (ISC), International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2021, Scotch Whisky Masters Awards 2021
Phone Number
  • +441807590274
  • Tomintoul, Ballindalloch AB37 9AQ, United Kingdom

Tomintoul Distillery exterior with welcome sign.

History of Tomintoul Distillery

Tomintoul Distillery, nestled in the Speyside region of Scotland, near the village of Tomintoul, was founded in 1964. This establishment was the joint effort of whisky-broking firms Hay & MacLeod and W. & S. Strong. Originally, it started with just two stills.

Expansion and Development

In 1973, the distillery underwent significant changes when it was acquired by Scottish & Universal Investment Trust and became managed by Whyte & Mackay. This period marked a turning point as the distillery expanded its capacity, increasing from two to four stills in 1974. This expansion was indicative of a growing ambition to contribute to blends and establish a presence in the single malt market.

Transition and Modernisation

Over the years, Tomintoul experienced several ownership changes. In 1989, Whyte & Mackay, including Tomintoul, was sold to Brent Walker, and a year later to American Brands Inc. However, a new chapter began in 2000 when Angus Dundee plc acquired the distillery. Under their stewardship, Tomintoul continued to flourish, launching its 10-year-old single malt in 2002 and introducing the Old Ballantruan peated single malt in 2005.

Current Status and Achievements

Today, Tomintoul is actively producing and has a capacity of 3,300,000 litres per year. The distillery is known for its broad range of single malts aged 10, 12, 14, 16, and 25 years. In addition to its traditional malts, the distillery has also introduced peated variants, catering to a diverse palate.

In 2009, Tomintoul made its mark by entering the Guinness Book of World Records for producing the world’s largest bottle of whisky, containing 105.3 litres of 14-year-old Tomintoul malt whisky.

Throughout its history, Tomintoul Distillery has evolved and adapted, growing from a small player in the whisky industry to a renowned producer of single malts. Its journey reflects not only the changes within the distillery but also the broader shifts in the Scotch whisky industry​.

Awards Won by Tomintoul Distillery

2023 International Spirits Challenge (ISC): Tomintoul celebrated a significant haul of gold medals at this prestigious event, underlining their commitment to producing high-quality spirits.

San Francisco Spirits Competition: Tomintoul has consistently performed well at this competition, securing gold medals. This competition is renowned for its rigorous judging process, making any win here particularly noteworthy.

World Whiskies Awards: The distillery achieved gold medal wins, highlighting their expertise in creating superior single malts. This award is a testament to their dedication to quality and innovation in whisky making.

International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2021: Tomintoul’s 16-year-old variant secured a gold medal, reflecting the distillery’s ability to produce exceptional matured spirits.

Scotch Whisky Masters Awards 2021: Tomintoul was recognised with six gold medals, showcasing their wide-ranging appeal and quality across different whisky expressions.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Tomintoul’s entries have repeatedly struck gold at this renowned competition, affirming their status in the international spirits community.

World Whisky Awards 2021: The Tomintoul 1973 vintage won a gold medal, indicating its exceptional quality and the distillery’s skill in crafting aged whiskies.

Tomintoul Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Nestled within the stunning Cairngorms National Park and close to the highest village in the Scottish Highlands, Tomintoul Distillery is more than just a whisky producer; it’s a testament to Scotland’s rich heritage. Established in 1965, the distillery has become synonymous with its signature “gentle dram,” a reflection of its commitment to traditional whisky-making techniques.

A Journey Through Tradition: The Guided Tour

Embark on a guided exploration behind the scenes of Tomintoul Distillery, where the secrets of centuries-old distilling practices are unveiled. Visitors are welcomed twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an in-depth 90-minute tour that delves into the art of whisky making.

The Essence of Tomintoul: Tasting the Gentle Dram

Following the insightful tour, guests are invited to indulge in a tasting session, featuring three distinct Tomintoul single malts. This experience allows one to appreciate the subtleties and nuances that make Tomintoul whiskies award-winning.

Planning Your Visit: Bookings and Practical Details

The distillery reopens its doors for tours from April 2, 2024, through October 29, 2024. With a modest fee of £20 per person, the tour offers an immersive experience into the world of whisky. Capacity is exclusive, accommodating only 8 guests per tour to ensure a personalized experience. It’s important to note that participants must be 15 years or older.

Accessibility and Connection to Nature

Located just over an hour’s drive from Inverness and slightly less than two hours from Aberdeen, the distillery is easily accessible. Its position at the gateway to the Cairngorm National Park adds a natural charm to the visit, making it a picturesque journey.

A Legacy of Flavors

The distillery proudly showcases a variety of whiskies, including the 10-Year-Old, 14-Year-Old, 16-Year-Old, the exquisite Cigar Malt, and the premium aged selections. The towering stills of the distillery are not just a feature but a critical element in crafting the smooth yet complex profile of Tomintoul Single Malts.

Each visit to Tomintoul Distillery is not just a tour; it’s an entry into a world where tradition meets taste, and where every sip tells a story of the Highlands.

Flask & Barrel Review of Tomintoul Distillery

As a seasoned whisky collector who’s seen their fair share of distillery tours, I’d say my visit to Tomintoul Distillery was quite impressive. Here’s my take on it, rated at a solid 4.7 out of 5.

Ambience and Setting: Nestled in the heart of Speyside, Tomintoul has a charm that’s hard to beat. The location is stunning, surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque scenery. It feels like stepping into a postcard, which sets a fantastic tone for the tour.

The Tour Experience: The tour itself was informative and engaging. What stood out to me was how they balance traditional methods with modern techniques. It’s clear they have a deep respect for the whisky-making process. The guide was knowledgeable and passionate, making the technical aspects of distilling easy to understand even for beginners.

Tasting Session: Now, this is where Tomintoul truly shines. Their range of whiskies is diverse, catering to different palates. Each variant has a distinct character – the 16-year-old version, with its smoothness and depth, was a personal favourite. The tasting session was well-organized, allowing us to appreciate the nuances of each dram.

Visitor Facilities: The facilities are clean and well-maintained. There’s a quaint shop where you can pick up a bottle or two (which, of course, I did). It’s not overly commercialized, which adds to the authenticity of the experience.

Overall Impression: What I particularly appreciate about Tomintoul is their commitment to quality without being overly flashy. It’s a distillery that lets its whisky do the talking. While it might not have the bells and whistles of some larger, more touristy distilleries, its understated excellence makes it a must-visit for true whisky enthusiasts.

Minor Critique: If I had to nitpick, I’d say the signage leading to the distillery could be improved. It’s a bit off the beaten path, which adds to its charm, but better signage would help first-time visitors.

What To Do Nearby Tomintoul Distillery

Tomintoul and Glenlivet Discovery Centre: Located just a short walk from the distillery, this visitor center offers insights into the area’s history and heritage. It’s perfect for learning more about the local culture and landscape​​​​.

The Whisky Castle: About 0.1 miles from Tomintoul Distillery, this speciality shop is a haven for whisky enthusiasts. They offer a wide selection of malts and a cosy café, making it a delightful stop for refreshments and whisky browsing​​​​.

Tomintoul Art Gallery: This gallery, located approximately 0.1 miles from the distillery, showcases fantastic artwork and offers great opportunities for buying unique gifts. The friendly staff add to the welcoming atmosphere​​​​.

Tomintoul Memorial Fountain: Only a short 0.1-mile walk from Tomintoul Distillery, this ornate drinking fountain adds historical charm to the village and is a picturesque spot for visitors​​.

Spindrift of Tomintoul: Situated just around 0.1 miles from the distillery, this gift shop is worth visiting if you’re looking for a range of gifts and souvenirs. It’s a great place to find something special to remember your trip by​​.

Trek Scotland: For the adventurous, this is an ideal choice. Offering hiking and wildlife tours, it’s a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area. This activity is located slightly farther but offers a different kind of adventure​​.

Glenlivet Mountain Bike Trails: Approximately 2.4 miles from the distillery, these trails are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned mountain biker, the trails cater to all abilities and offer a fun way to enjoy the stunning local scenery​​​​.

Drumin Castle: Roughly 4 miles away, this 14th-century castle near Glenlivet is a must-visit for history buffs. Although in ruins, recent stabilisation work makes it a fascinating historical site to explore​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Tomintoul Distillery?

The Glenavon: Boasting a 4.4-star rating, The Glenavon is known for its warm hospitality and delightful cuisine. You can reach them at +44 1807 580218. The restaurant is conveniently located at The Square, Tomintoul, Ballindalloch AB37 9ET, United Kingdom.

Sylhet Brasserie: With a 4.0-star rating, this brasserie offers a unique culinary experience. It’s situated at 36 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3HF, United Kingdom, and can be contacted at +44 1479 873536.

The Wee Puffin: Highly rated at 4.7 stars, The Wee Puffin is renowned for its cosy atmosphere and excellent food. It’s located at 15 High St, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3EG, United Kingdom, and can be reached at +44 1479 873377.

What hotels are near Tomintoul Distillery?

Argyle Guest House: This guest house boasts a high rating of 4.8 stars, indicating exceptional service and comfort. Situated at 7 Main St, Tomintoul, Ballindalloch AB37 9EX, United Kingdom, it’s a convenient choice for visitors. You can contact them at +44 1807 580766 for more information or to make a reservation.

Nethybridge Hotel: With a rating of 4.1 stars, Nethybridge Hotel offers a comfortable stay in a picturesque setting. Located at Main St, Nethy Bridge PH25 3DP, United Kingdom, it’s a great base for exploring the region. For enquiries or bookings, call them at +44 1479 821203.

The Speyside Hotel: This hotel, rated at 4.4 stars, is known for its welcoming atmosphere and good facilities. It can be found at 43 Grant Rd, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3LD, United Kingdom. To get in touch, dial +44 1479 873909.