Next up in my series of interviews of people in the whisky industry is Graham Eunson, Master Distiller for Tomatin
Located between Aviemore and Inverness the Tomatin distillery once boasted over 20 stills and today still has 12 of them, a lovely light dram that worked well in blends Tomatin was very popular with the Blenders and still is although the single malt is also beginning to get a bit of a following also..
1. How long have you been involved in the Whisky Industry?
Started on 24 Sept 1990
2. What’s your earliest Whisky Memory?
Probably visiting Highland Park distillery with my parents as a boy. Being born and raised in Orkney it was a must see.
3. What’s your proudest moment in your career within the Whisky Industry thus far?
Too many great moments to choose just one but becoming manager at Glenmorangie, the first mash after re-opening Glenglassaugh and being approached with the offer of a new role at Tomatin all rate pretty highly.
4. What was the last dram you had?
Last Saturday night with friends we sampled some Slane Castle Irish whisky followed by Tomatin 12 YO.
5. What other whiskies and/or distilleries inspire you and why?
The brave decision to open a new distillery such as Arran or Kilchoman or to take an old one out of mothballs always appeals to the romantic in me especially when it's a small band of enthusiasts that are behind it rather than the multi-nationals. That said, I think there's always lots to learn from the bigger more established brands or distilleries and ultimately it's the people in the industry that are the most inspirational.
6. What is your dram of choice?
Whichever one is available at the time of asking and I do like to experiment but my preferred style would be ex-bourbon matured for around 10 - 15 years.
7. The whisky industry seems very strong at the moment, where do you see it going over the next few years?
I've been around long enough to see various peaks and troughs and have even mothballed a couple of distilleries in my time but things do look quite positive at the moment and although we may hit a plateau I don't think there's going to be a huge drop as we've seen in the past.
8. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
I love what I do so probably still here having helped make Tomatin even more successful, alternatively lying on a beach in St Lucia would be very much acceptable.
9. What is the strangest whisky superstition you’ve came across?
Can't say that I've heard of that many but throwing a glass of whisky into a river at the start of the salmon fishing season strikes me as a terrible waste
10. What dram would you absolutely not be able to live without?
Tomatin obviously - it's the one that pays me enough to keep my wife and kids in the manner to which they've become accustomed !
Many thanks to Graham for taking the time to answer these questions and I hope you enjoyed viewing them, more in this series in the coming weeks and remember to have a look at The Tomatin website for more about this fantastic range of whiskies.