Toulvaddie is a brand new micro whisky distillery which is near completion in the North East, Highlands of Scotland.
Founder and Distiller, Heather Nelson has spent a number of years designing, developing and has been hands on in every step of the building process. It has been a long time ambition and dream which has taken a colossal amount of work to finally get it off the ground.
“This small area of Ross-shire has always been my home and when growing up in the Highlands of Scotland, traditions are big and can influence your path in life and to that note, no matter what the occasion, it's generally marked and celebrated in some way with a dram. My family background is embedded in the agricultural industry with both sets of grandparents being farmers it meant that your whole life and culture was influenced by the land. My brothers and I could all run fast as kids, so when it came time to move the cattle or sheep, we were called on to help. During the summer once you were old enough, you had the job of tractor driver carting the grain. Anyone who has had any involvement with farming knows that it is not a job, it is a way of life, a culture for the whole family – and in this area it is intertwined with distilling industry. Many years ago the farmers would have done it themselves in an illicit still away from the watchful eye of the excise man, but now the barley which is grown in the fields right next to the distillery are used for making whisky”.
“Whisky has always been perceived as a man’s drink, and it really isn’t. I am pleased to say that this incorrect perception is dying, slowly, but things are changing and by starting my own distillery I hope to help break down the barriers, and say its ok to like whisky, by taking it a step further by producing it myself. I have a real passion and desire for making great tasting quality product that everyone can enjoy. Hopefully it may encourage other women to try whisky when they maybe would not have done before."
The distillery is being built on the site of an old Royal Navy Airbase where Navy pilot bombers trained on how to land on the decks of aircraft carriers during the war. Incorporating the site history into the distillery is also important to Heather. “Much of the base has been returned to farmland after it was no longer needed by the Navy for bomber training. I want the distillery to retain some of that history and the spirit of the men and women who worked there.”
Toulvaddie will initially produce around 30,000 litres per year, hand crafted in the time honoured tradition. Construction is underway and production to begin as soon as possible after that. A limited number of Year One casks will be available to purchase, thus allowing whisky lovers from all over the world to be part of our history.