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The Tobermory distillery can be found in the Hebrides on the Isle of Mull. It is the only distillery on the island, and stands surrounded by the colorful homes of the Village of Tobermory.
Tobermory distillery was founded under a different name — Ledaig — in 1798 by a man named John Sinclair.
Sinclair bought 57 acres south of the harbor in what is now Tobermory, upon which he would build houses, a pier, and a stillhouse. The facility was closed in 1930 due to effects of the American Prohibition, and reopened in 1972.
Tobermory single malt is produced from barley that never touches peat, and aged in oak casks for at least a decade. The distillery also manufactures a peated spirit called Ledaig, in honor of the original distillery name, in limited quanitities.
Water used in the workings is drawn from a privately owned loch near the Misnish lochs. Its capacity lies just north of a million liters per year. Maturation takes place at the distillery in Deanston, in ex-Bourbonand ex-Sherry casks.
A transcript for non-audio situations
Woman: Some travel destinations are real, some imaginary. But rarely do the imaginary and the real come together in one breathtakingly beautiful location. Of all the islands in the Hebrides, few are so shrouded in myth and legend as the Isle of Mull, the home of fabled Celtic warriors, soaring mountains, and white, sandy beaches.
This is a unique island, a place where the land, the sea, and the air around you seem to whisper secrets, hinting at unseen treasures that beckon around every corner, an island where the past is never very far away. And if the past has a theme, then it has to be the sea which has shaped the history of the island and its environment.
Moisture-laden clouds that blow in from across the wide Atlantic Ocean keep the rivers and burns flowing, bathing the island in soft rain. 1,600 years ago, Celtic monks from Ireland were drawn across the sea. The monks settled to the north of the island, and founded a spiritual center beside the source of pure crystal water, which they named Mary's Well, or "Tobar Mhoire" in Gaelic. It's this water that provides the essential element of Tobermory's unique malt Whiskys. Tobermory Distillery was originally called "Ledaig" meaning "Safe Haven" in Gaelic.
Man: Tobermory Distillery was founded in 1798 and it's one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. The Distillery's got its own private water supply, it's about a mile outside the town. And the water is peaty and it adds a nice flavor to our Whiskys.
The malted barley goes through to our milling machine where it's milled down into grist. It's then transferred through to the grist hopper for pulp and mashed. It's dropped from the grist hopper into the mashed, and mixed with water. It's left to soak for a period of time before it's pumped through to the wash backs. During the wash backs we add the yeast to it, and it's left to ferment for up to 90 hours. When it's fully fermented, it's about 7% alcohol. The wash arrives in the still house and it's charged into the wash stills for its first distillation process.
The wash is heated and the alcohol vapors rise up through the neck of the still and into the condenser where it is cooled and dropped back into the spirit as liquid, which is called [inaudible 0:02:51.0] and it's 25% alcohol at this stage. Once it's gone through its second distillation, the spirit is ready for casking and it's left to mature.
Woman: The Distillery's original Gaelic name lives on in the 10 year old Ledaig where it is produced, along with its more famous cousin, the Tobermory single malt.
Man: The 10YO Tobermory's got a lovely well-rounded flavor it and it's got a natural peatiness that comes from our own private water supply. And it's very easy to drink. For the 15YO Tobermory, we use the dual cask maturation technique. The Whisky is recast into Gonzalez via Sherry casks, hand selected by a master distiller, letting he island's influences take effect on the Whisky. It's got a nice, orange marmalade nose to it, and a slight hint of smoke. The finish is slightly spicy and it really is a malt to treasure.
Woman: Tobermory Whisky is not the only treasure that has made the little town of Tobermory famous. In 1588, following the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English fleet, a damaged Spanish galleon limped into the safety of the bay. Succumbing to its wounds, the ship sank beneath the waves but to this day it has never surrendered its legendary treasure.
A more tangible treasure can be found where Spanish gold is more elusive. Capturing the essence of the island's legendary past and it's unspoiled Atlantic setting is this liquid gold from the waters of Tobermory, Mary's Well. To open a bottle of Tobermory 15YO is to release the treasures of the past to enjoy today and in the future, when the taste of Tobermory will transport you to the treasures of Mull and the islands of the Hebrides.