Tomintoul distillery is located in Ballindalloch, Banffshire in the Speyside region and was founded as recently as 1964 by W&S Strong & Co. and Hay & MacLeod who formed Tomintoul Distillery Ltd.

Production started in 1965 and continued until 1973 when Scottish Universal Investment Trust purchased the distillery.

They doubled the number of stills in 1974 from two to four and then in 1978 the company was sold to Lonrho.

Whyte & Mackay was sold to Brent Walker in 1989.


Tomintoul was sold once again in 2000, this time to Angus Dundee Ltd who are still the owners when I write this in March 2012.

Tomintoul whisky has always been almost exclusively used in blends, formerly the Whyte & Mackay ones, but today I'm not so sure which. I have seen figures quoted that it isn't many years ago when only 2% of production was bottled as single malt.

More great distillery info here thanks to Malt Madness


Distillery photos by kind permission of Teun van Wel





Tomintoul (OB)

General whisky characteristics: Aromatic, sweet, orange, liquorice


Tomintoul, 10y, 40% ABV

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Gentle gold

Nose: I've just stuck my nose into sweet, aromatic marshmallow coated in (pink) candy floss with slight hints of aniseed.

Palate: Not as sweet as the nose would promise (thankfully) as it turns from an initial creaminess to spicy, tingling slightly bitter liquorice.

Finish: Medium to long

Overall Impression: Very different. Do I like it? Yes I think so, even though the nose was very sweet and pink! In fact, you can't go through life without trying this one.



Tomintoul, 16y, 40% ABV

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light amber

Nose: Aromatic in a faint kind of way. Not as sweet as the 10y as this has malt, some orange (almost mandarin / satsuma) and autumnal leaves.

Palate: Creamy and silky with no tingle or burn. This starts with a burst of coconut but very quickly suggests also an aniseed presence with a slightly liquorice finish.

Finish: Long with hints of coconut fading to liquorice.

Overall Impression: Not as sweet as the 10y with a little more depth of flavour and slightly richer aftertaste. I'm getting to like Tomintoul.



Tomintoul, 27y, 40% ABV

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark amber / bronze

Nose: I initially want to say aromatic bay leaves soaked in orange (or even cointreau), but it's a little more than that, possibly including some soft brown sugar or even a dash of excellent rum.

Palate: Rich, smooth and creamy, but without screaming its presence like the 10y. This one takes time, it's gentle, unassuming and rather polite as it slowly allows its character of rich fruits, gently toasted almonds and ginger cake to caress the palate in a full-bodied but still subtle way.

Finish: Long and rich, but gentle.

Overall Impression: Smooth and sophisticated, treat it with kindness and it will reward.



Tomintoul 10y, 16y & 27y Head to Head



These may all be from the same stable, but make no mistake, they are three very different whiskies each with a unique character. The 10y has an unbelievably sweet nose which reminds me of a cross between a childhood funfare where coconut and candy floss abound and a real, olde world childhood sweet-shop!

The 16y has definitely grown up or matured somewhat with suggestions of coconut, aniseed orange and liquorice, but when we talk about maturing, then the 27y is a fully fledged adult. It is smooth and rich, but very coy as it is slow to reveal its full charm and needs a little gentle coaxing to do so.

Yes, the 27y is the best offering here, but make no mistake, neither the 10y or 16y are bad whiskies, in fact, I would recommend that people try all three as each has something rather different to offer!



Tomintoul, Five Decades, 45% ABV

50th Anniversary bottling, July 2015

Bottle No.641 of 5230

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich and shiny yellow gold

Nose: Lots of suggestions of cereal, barley and oaty biscuit. The nose definitely tends towards grains, that's the farmed type not grain whisky.

Palate: Yes lots of oaty biscuit-y-ness and barley on the palate but also a gentle fruitiness perhaps like peach or a similarly gentle fruit.

Finish: Long with a gentle peppery ending.

Overall Impression: It may sound a little single faceted with all my 'grain' comments but make no mistake this is a lovely whisky.





Tomintoul (IB)


Whisky Agency, Tomintoul, 1967-2011, 43y, 49.8% ABV

'Liquid Sun' series, bourbon hogshead, one of 209 bottles

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Munich Whisky Fair

Colour: Pale but bright yellow gold

Nose: Lots of grasses and hay with hints of passion fruit. After a short while a suggestion of cereal or malt develops, maybe even likened to popcorn? Further development occurs after another 3-4 minutes in the glass to the point where I can only describe this now as "absolute driftwood".

Palate: A slightly watery mouth-feel offers lots of flavour with oats, vanilla, baked apple and then the faintest hint of liquorice leading into the finish.

Finish: Long

Overall Impression: A good and most enjoyable whisky, but why do I somehow expect even more from a whisky of this age?




Whisky Agency, Tomintoul, 1969-2012, 43y, 47.6% ABV

'Liquid Sun' series, refill hogshead, one of 122 bottles

Original cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich golden

Nose: It's very aromatic with lightly perfumed notes, lots of vanilla alongside gentle hints of wood and even reminiscent of an evening rape field after a day of hot sunshine.

Palate: That vanilla extends to the palate but is accompanied by a massive and exotic fruitiness akin to a cocktail of apricot, mango, papaya and maybe even galia melon.

Finish: Very long with an exotic fruitiness.

Overall Impression: de-light-ful, I love that fruitiness and would happily sit on the patio on a summer evening with a dram or three of this to keep me company.




Exclusive Malts, Tomintoul, 1967-2012, 45y, 48.9% ABV

Bottled for Whiskycom.TW, refill hogshead, Cask 6579, No.84 of 220 bottles

Original cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich golden

Nose: I think I just cleaned and polished my dining room table with this, so strong is the initial burst of furniture polish. No, it's not bad, it's very good, just massively polished. As the polish settles I suddenly find a suggestion of well-baked jacket potato skin alongide some background fruitiness. As time passes the polish fades further and a gentle musty oakiness expands.

Palate: This is different again with incredible intensity, lots of exotic fruitiness and even a suggestion of coconut.

Finish: Very long and intense. Also fruity.

Overall Impression: a delightful, unassuming and awfully civilised dram. Good old high quality understatement and not far from "Great"ness.




G&M Rare Old series, Tomintoul, 40% ABV

Distilled 1967, bottled 2000

Original cost of this bottle;

Many thanks to Steffen for the sample


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Teak

Nose: Rich with suggestions of raisins, plain chocolate and tobacco over a background of old wood with a very mild rubberiness.

Palate: Lots of that dark fruitiness over a slightly rubbery woodiness.

Finish: Long, repeating and very rich.

Overall Impression: Delightful richness and indulgence.








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