Despite being one of Scotland’s newer distilleries, built in 1964, Tomintoul is very much set in traditional whisky-making country. Its location at the heart of the Glenlivet estate (just outside the highest town in Scotland) means that it is one of relatively few distilleries who still can - and do! - use the suffix “-Glenlivet”. This practice used to be widespread, in order to piggy back on the success of “The” Glenlivet, but as copyright law became more important most distilleries chose to drop any reference to Glenlivet and focus on developing their own brand image. Tomintoul, however, continues to proudly describe itself as “Speyside Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky”, thus proving it to be rather traditionally-minded for such a modern distillery.
What matters, of course, is the quality of the whisky, and Tomintoul certainly stands up to scrutiny there. While recently only 2% of its production was bottled as single malt, that number is steadily increasing as, under the guidance of new owners Angus Dundee (who also own Glencadam), it grows its following. The distillery now operates at full capacity, and for two weeks a year it produces malt peated to 55ppm which is used both for blending and for their own peated single malt expressions (Old Ballantruan and the Peaty Tang). The phenomenal 33-year-old - winner of the Best Speyside Whisky award in the 2010 World Whisky Awards - has sadly been discontinued owing to its own success, but the remaining vintages are no less rewarding.