Tobermory was originally founded in 1798 by John Sinclair, under the name Ledaig (pronounced ‘led-chigg’), hence the recently released Ledaig range. Closing in 1837 and reopening in 1878, the distillery was acquired in 1890 by John Hopkins and Company. Today, Tobermory is the only distillery on the Isle of Mull.
The distillery has quite a small annual capacity of just one million litres and runs at but three quarters of this. In 1930, the distillery closed and was used as a power plant. It was not the only time Tobermory had been used for purposes other than whisky distillation; in 1982 the buildings were leased to a dairy company who used them for storing cheese.
Tobermory is currently under Burn Stewart ownership following the acquisition of both the distillery and a good stock of whisky for £800,000. The malted barley is shipped from the Port Ellen maltings at the South-East of Islay, also home to a more recent experiment whereby some casks are sent for maturation on the island, these are bottled as Ledaig.
There is now just one official bottling in production; a ten year-old. There have also been independent bottlings and although popularity has been weaning, under the management of Alan McConnochie of Bunnahabhain fame, there is expected to be a resurgence.