I am currently touring Speyside and wanted to visit some of the distilleries that don’t always get the recognition they deserve, sometimes it’s because people just don’t know about them and sometimes it is due to being quite small. Tomintoul certainly is not small, nor is it unknown but it does get overlooked.
When I decided to sort my visits out I contacted Robert Fleming, ( the distillery manager) he instantly sorted a time and date out for me and the date was written down, now Tomintoul does not usually do tours unless pre-booked, they don’t have a visitor centre so don’t expect all ribbons and glitter, what they do offer is a very detailed walk round. While on the tour our guide Tom Gerrie ( a cheeky chap if ever there was one) treated us to a barrage of very useful information,
anything you need to know he will tell you, don’t let him fool you that he is just an employee… This Distillery produces whisky in quantity, it has a capacity of 3.3 million ltrs of pure Alchol per year and some of the figures we were given are incredible, but when you look round you realise just how big this distillery actually is. The distillery is producing somewhere in the region of 73,000 ltrs of whisky a week, which takes an incredisble 175 tons of barley per week, this all goes through the Porteus mill, producing grist at a rate of 11.6 tons every 10 hours. This all goes into a 70,000 ltr stainless steel mash tun, there are 6 stainless steel wash backs in use with a 60 hour fermentation time. There are 4 stills, 2 wash stills and 2 spirit stills but all 4 are actually the same size, these are under the watch of Stuart, who has worked at the distillery for 11 years and has had control of the stills for around a year..
We then had a walk into the dumping area and cask filling station before entering a couple of the rack warehouses, there is cask upon cask stacked here, the numbers we were told are quite eye opening, but it is easy to see. There were bourbon barrels, hoggies, sherry butts and port pipes in use, and both single malt and grain whisky is stored.
The distillery produces malt for just about every market you can name, with blends and single malt alike being produced..
Once the tour was over we entered a room and treated to the range of malts including the 12, 14,15 and 16 as well as the peated expression, all these will be reviewed separately..
I would like to thank everyone at the distillery for thier kindness and very warm welcome, I hope to see everyone again soon.