Cu Bocan 1988

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Cu Bocan is the name for a lightly peated malt usually put out in small quantities by Tomatin distillery. It’s also the name for some mythical hellhound and there’s a story about it on the whisky’s branding.

This particular one was distilled in 1988 and released this year. It is a marriage of two cask types, one being refill sherry butts and the other refill hogsheads (probably ex-bourbon), and from what I understand both previously held a very peaty Islay malt.

Aged 27 years. 51.5%ABV. Matured in refill hogsheads and sherry butts. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.

Nose: Dusty fruits. Juicy fruit gum. Pencil erasers. Pencil shavings. Coal dust. Peaches. Dry grass left in the sun (school sports fields). Rich caramel. Oranges. Banana flavouring.

Palate: A bit weak for such a high ABV. Dry wood. Woodshavings. Bitter citrus. Rubber.

Finish: Medium. Bitter fruits and wood tannins.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: No

VFM: 1/5

My opinion of Tomatin in general is that it’s good, but boring whisky, kind of like a fancy Toyota, has some nice stuff on it, but not quite a Lexus. I’m usually okay with that because they usually sell for pretty cheap, but not this one. It had a good deal of complexity, and some genuinely interesting notes to it, but I felt like I had to work hard to find those notes, there wasn’t anything that really stuck out and would make me remember this or want to try it again, especially at over 200 Euros for a bottle.

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