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Hailing from Tomatin Distillery, Cu Bocan has a spooky backstory and lots of flavour.

The Brand

Named after a ghost dog that is said to haunt the Tomatin village, Cu Bocan is a Highland malt from near Inverness.

The Tomatin Distillery itself has been around since 1897 and the local area thrived when it was founded.

Tomatin choose to call their lightly peated malt after the dog, in homage to a distillery worker who claims to once have been stalked by the beast.

The distillery only creates peated malt on the last week of the year, a tradition it has held for decades.

The Malt

It is the perfect Halloween malt, with a slightly smoky palate and a chilling backstory.

Their standard edition is a wonderfully light malt with a delicate note of peat. It has been matured in ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks.

The nose opens with floral notes of apple blossom and heather, giving it an earthy start.

It has a lovely hint of citrus and of course the all important peat smoke. It is definitely not as dense as some peated drams, but certainly lets you know it’s there.

The palate has more oak flavours and a lot more herbal notes. These combine perfectly, with the dense wooded flavours of the oak and the lighter, notes of the herbs.

Hazelnuts, pecans and almonds appear, giving it a lovely sweetness. Cloves and nutmeg are also there, adding a little bit of warmth.

The heat goes well with the peat, which rounds everything up and adds a lovely mellow mouth feel.

The finish is strong, with lots more oak and peat.

Tomatin have also recently released a 1990 limited edition of the malt that has been matured in ex-Islay casks, giving it more peated flavours.

The nose opens with smoke and a hint of sweet honey. The flavours go perfectly together and recall the orchard qualities of the standard edition.

There are tropical fruits also on the nose, which give it a lovely zest.

The palate is full of oak wood, cinnamon spice and vanilla. There is a hint of sea air as well, bringing in the seaside home of the casks.

The flavours melt together and the peat smoke is rich and warming. This would be the perfect dram to enjoy in front of a roaring fore on a cold winter night.

More fruits being an end to the dram, and it has a long and hearty finish.

Cu Bocan may have a terrifying back-story, but it is definitely a malt you’ll want to try. And ideal for both Halloween and Christmas!

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