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Founded in 1897, the Tomatin whisky distillery sits at an altitude of 313m just to the west of the village of the same name, and quenches its annual five million litre capacity with the pure waters of the Allt-na-Frithe. Closing briefly at the beginning of the 20th century, Tomatin experienced good fortunes and during the 1950s began increasing its stills, installing the last in 1974, bringing its total to an impressive 23, although 11 were dismantled in 2002.
Following the 1985 liquidation of prior owners Tomatin Distillers Company, the Tomatin distillery became the first Scottish single malt maker to be purchased by a Japanese company.
In 1986 Takara Shuzo and Okara acquired Tomatin, which stands, today, as one of Scotland’s largest distilleries. Tomatin not only has a substantial capacity but also boasts an onsite cooperage and 14 warehouses, nearly as large as Japan’s largest distillery, the Suntory-owned Hakushu.
There is a profusion of independent bottlings, though there is a rather small house range. The Scotch from Tomatin is also used in many blends, notably in the famed ‘The Antiquary’ range. Today, the distillery runs at full capacity, largely producing unpeated malt whisky.
Following the acquisition of Okara’s interests by Takara Shuzo and a subsequent amalgamation, the whisky distillery is now under the ownership of The Marubeni group.