Ultimate Beverage Challenge
The Tobermory distillery is the only distillery on the island of Mull, directlyNorth of Islay and the isle of Jura. It was founded in 1798 by John Sinclairunder the name 'Ledaig' (pronounced 'Let-chick'). Tobermory was one of a small number of distilleries that was established before the Excise Act of 1823 that legalised the production of whisky, but it was closed in 1837.obermory remained closed for four over decades, but in 1878 production resumed again. In 1890 the distillery was obtained by John Hopkins & Co. who were themselves bought in 1916 by DCL (Distillers Company Limited). Unfortunately, Tobermory was closed again in 1930 and remained inactive for more than four decades. Although distillation of whisky had ceased, the buildings still fulfilled a function - they were used as a power station.
A new company (a joint venture of a shipping company from Liverpool and Domecq sherry from
Spain) revived the distillery in 1972 with the name Ledaig Distillery Ltd. - the same name that
was used when the distillery was founded. This effectively means that up until this point the
distillery had been closed for nearly half of its life. And the restart in 1972 didn't break that bad
habit; the new owners filed for bankruptcy in 1975 and the distillery was closed again, this time
for three years. In 1978 the distillery was purchased by Kirkleavington Property Co in Yorkshire.
This company (an estate agent) formed a new company to run the distillery (Tobermory Distillers
Limited), rented out some of the buildings for cheese storage and converted others to flats. After the take-over the distillery ran for only a few years; from 1982 to 1989 Tobermory was silent again. After production had resumed at the end of the 1980's the distillery was obtained by Burn Stewart Distillers who paid a friendly 600,000 GBP for the distillery itself and another 200,000 for the supplies of whisky.