Tomatin.. Founded in around 1897 when the first official distillery on the site was registered, although it is believed that Whisky was produced well before this date and possibly as far back as the early 1700’s..
Found just 18 miles south of Inverness the distillery lies on the eastern edge of the Monadhliath Mountains at 1000 feet above sea level.
Boasting its own little village where around 80% of the workers still live Tomatin distillery is not just a job but a way of life !!
Once regarded as the largest distillery in Scotland with a capacity to produce 12 million litres of alcohol per year from its 23 stills ( 12 wash stills and 11 spirit stills)
Today the distillery is producing around 2.5 million ltrs of alcohol with a small percentage being peated, there are 10 malt bins each holding 500 tons of barley which at the moment is 100% Scottish, again a Porteus mill is in operation which was installed in 1974 and can crush 8.2 tons of barley every 90 mins.. There are 12 wash backs all around 42,600 ltrs each and all stainless steel, 12 stills of which only 10 are used ( 6 wash stills and 4 spirit stills) the distillery runs on a 54 hour fermentation.
The beast is back !! Cu Bocan 1990..
Todays review is for the recently released Cu Bocan 1990, for those unfamiliar with this brand, Cu Bocan is named after the mythical creature that was rumoured to haunt the village of Tomatin many many years ago..
The Cu Bocan 1990 was Distilled on the 17th October 1990 and matured for 28 long years in ex bourbon barrels that had previously held an undisclosed Islay whisky..
Bottled at 52.9% abv, with an outturn of just 1,400 bottles worldwide this limited edition joins the prestigious line up of Cu Bocan expressions available..
Nose.. An instant fruitiness greets the senses with freshly peeled apples, pineapple, peaches and burnt toffee. A soft smoke wraps itself around everything and gives it a second layer..
Palate.. The peat explodes instantly with this one, a real smoke and earthy dominance with the fruits battling to surface, a hint of honey and exotic fruits but there is only one winner in this battle.
Finish.. Lingering smoke and oak tannings.
Thoughts.. The ex Islay casks just give this a real intriguing aroma, the distillery identity is there with the fresh, fruity aromas but with a little added attitude.
The smoke is subtle on the nose but take a sip and it hits you like an express train doing 50mph..
This really is a dram of 2 halves, the nose is delicate and majestic but the palate reverts back to the beast that haunts the area.. Another great addition to the Cu Bocan range..
With thanks to Tomatin for this official sample.