A Spanish galleon shipwreck can be found at the bottom of Tobermory harbour, over which the distillery looks. It was named ‘The Florida’ and was sunk during the Spanish Armada in 1588. Legend has it that it was stacked with treasure but none has ever been found … or at least declared!
Isle of Mull
tel - +44(0)1688 302645
web - www.tobermorymalt.com
Tours through the Tobermory distillery - available Easter to October Moday to Friday then October to Easter by appointment only. Charges apply.
Tobermory is the only distillery on the island of Mull, which lies a short ferry ride from the west Highland coast of Scotland. It was founded in 1798, making it one of Scotland's oldest distilleries and is named after the small town of Tobermory on the island. Tobermory is small and compact with an annual production capacity of one million litres and is currently owned by Burn Stewart Distillers. The whisky produced there is popular with blenders and this means that only around 15% of Tobermory's whisky is released as single malt. They produce three different styles of single malt whisky at Tobermory - the majority is produced using unpeated malted barley and is called Tobermory. There is also a lightly peated version, which is sold as Ledaig and a heavily peated version called Iona (named after a small island that neighbours Mull and the whisky is only available from the distillery shop). The Tobermory core range of single malts is restricted due to the distillery’s small capacity and consists of the popular 10 years old, plus two more limited editions at 15 and 32 years old.
Tobermory was founded in 1798 by John Sinclair and the distillery's original name was Ledaig (pronounced ley-jeg and translating as 'safe harbour' from Gaelic). There are rumours of illegal distilling taking place in the area since the early 1700s. The legal distillery was built to support the fishing community that had built up in Tobermory, as it became a major harbour on Scotland’s west coast. The history of the distillery is littered with periods of closure and numerous changes of ownership for one reason or another, with the two most significant closures being 1837-1878 and then 1930-1972. Interestingly, during the Second World War, the disused distillery buildings were converted in to a canteen for marines posted at the nearby Tobermory naval base. Following another sporadic period of production, the Tobermory Distillers Ltd. was set up in 1979 and they changed the distillery's name from Ledaig to Tobermory. However, they were soon in financial trouble and sold off some of the outbuildings and warehouses to developers and these were converted to apartments. Burn Stewart then took control in 1993, buying the distillery and all the old maturing whisky stock and Tobermory has been in constant production ever since.