Over 50% of our staff live in the grounds of the distillery, in purpose built homes erected specifically to house the distillery workers.  For years, Tomatin has seen generations of the same family working side by side and the Bartlett family is no exception as they follow in that long held tradition. 

The younger generation of the Bartletts is our Cooper of 14 years, Allan, who joined Tomatin straight out of school.  Having grown up onsite, he remembers the quiet and peaceful life, at least it was until Alan and his friends got home from school and used to play hide and seek in the distillery buildings, that was until the staff caught on and began locking up!

Now our only Cooper, he is highly skilled and went through 5 years of training with our previous cooper, Iain Duthie, who was with us for 39 years. Allan has now been fully qualified for 9 years.  Asked what his daily routine is:

“I start at 8am everyday, unlock the cooperage, get the heaters on and just start hammering. I check our casks for damages, and repair them if necessary.  I am very much left to my own devices, which I like, and I see it as a job for life.”

Working alongside Allan is his father, Bruce – grounds man -  and mother, Rose – office manager.  Having both worked at Tomatin for years, the family has a loyalty to the place,

“It’s been great for us, given us a job, a house and a community. It’s a great place really, very easy going- it’s just a shame about the midges in summer!”

There is a mellow contentment and satisfaction to working at Tomatin. As Allan says himself,

“it’s a way of life up here, not just a job.”