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Tomatin Master Distiller | Graham Eunson | Planet Whiskies Questions and Answers

Planet Whiskies recently approached Graham Eunson, the Master Distiller of the famous Highland distillery of Tomatin and asked him for a Q&A's session and he kindly accepted. Read about his thoughts of the Scottish Whisky industry and more below and how he likes to drink his whisky.

Tomatin Master Distiller -  Graham Eunson

Question for the Master Distiller at Tomatin Distillery

How long have you worked at Tomatin Distillery?
Since 1st August 2011 but I’ve been in distilleries for a quarter of a century

What is your favourite part of the production of whisky?
To be honest, all of it although the maturation is where most of the flavour is created and science understands it least.

How many people help you at the distillery?
If possible please name them and a team photo for the website. – At present I have 31 people reporting into me either directly or indirectly. They operate the distillery, warehouses, Lab, Visitor centre and stock control departments.

What is your favourite Tomatin malt and why?
That’s like trying to choose between my children.  It really depends on the occasion, surroundings, company, mood etc.

What is the best thing about working with Tomatin brands?
The potential. For many years Tomatin was seen by many as a malt filler for blends but is actually a very good whisky in its own right. The transition from a bulk based company into a brands focused company is an exciting time to be involved.

What places in the world have you travel to under Tomatin name?
USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, China, Sweden, Belgium, Spain and around the UK

What is the best experience with Tomatin you have undertaken?
Too many to mention but creating the recipes for Legacy and Cu Bocan was great fun.

What is your favourite malt outside of Tomatin? – Whichever one is available at the right time

What made you get into the whisky industry?
Accidently ended up in whisky  – Carpenters apprenticeship, broken legs and Ford Motor Company – it’s a long and dull story !

What was the first malt you had?
I can’t actually recall but coming from Orkney it was probably Scapa or Highland Park.

Do you have many whiskies in a personal collection?
About 120 or so. Some open some not.

Do you meet up with any other master distillers for other Scottish distillery and discuss the whisky industry?
Yes, the whisky industry is quite small really so we all know each other. We meet on business and socially on a regular basis.

With your malts do you normally have them straight, with water, or ice? and does this depend of the malt and where the malt is from?
It depends more on the occasion and location really – at home I quite like a whisky with ice but in Japan I usually drink it with soda and ice, a highball.

What do you see in store for the whisky industry in the years ahead?
Continual change – change has been a tradition in the whisky industry for the past few hundred years and I don’t foresee that stopping.

Final what would you like to do in the future within the whisky industry?
Leave it in as good a condition if not better than when I joined it – hopefully not for a few years yet !

Read about Planet Whiskies tour of the Tomatin Distillery

See the range of malts at Tomatin

Read more about The Tomatin Distillery

 

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Glenfarclas The Family Cask 1981 Highland Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGlenfarclas The Family Cask 1981 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

2016 release, One of 265 bottles - Cask Number 1607, Type 4th Fill Butt The Family Casks collection encapsulates the essential character of our distillery. Each bottle containing it's own unique story and complexity of aromas... Read more

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Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGlenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Nose: Chocolate, raisins, prunes, touches of mint, leather.
Palate: Flavourful oakyiness, liqueur filled chocolates, Christmas cake, chocolate flavoured prunes, dried fruits, cinnamon, black pepper.
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Selection of Scottish Malts Whisky available from Spirits By Post

Hibiki 17 Year Old Single Malt Japanese WhiskyHibiki 17 Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky

Distillery:  Japanese

Nose: Peach, Apricot, Melon, Rose, Lily and Lemon Leaf.
Palate: Toffee, Black Cherries, Vanilla and Mizunara (Japanese Oak)
Finish: Sweet, Fruity with Lychee Aftertaste.

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Highland Park Freya - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Freya - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

Colour/Appearance: Fair gold.
Nose: Mild sweet smoke, green apple, sweet butter icing, coconut and cream, lemon peal. Palate: Vanilla cream, spiciness, marmalade, cinnamon spice, oaky spice, leafy green notes, bark and damp twigs. Finish: Gentle spice, warming.

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Highland Park The Valhalla Collection Set Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park The Valhalla Collection Set Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

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Highland Park Loki - The Valhalla Collection 15 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Loki - The Valhalla Collection 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

Colour/Appearance: Pale gold.
Nose: Spiced apple, oak cakes, dried bitter orange, buttery toffee, gingerbread.
Palate:Sweet smoke, apples, custard, woody, spices, cinnamon, ginger.
Finish: Constantly changing.

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Arran Malt The Exciseman Volume 3 Smugglers Series Limited Release Single Malt Scotch WhiskyArran Malt The Exciseman Volume 3 Smugglers Series Limited Release Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Arran

Nose: The rich honeyed character is immediate on the nose, luxuriously decadent. The fresh coastal character is also evident. Apples, vanilla and a touch of spice are also subtly present with a hint of toasted oak. Click to read full tasting notes.

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