In a nutshell: A limited edition earthy, oaky and sweet Highland Single Malt matured in a mix of refill Islay casks and Sherry butts.
The lowdown: This one of Cù Bòcan's Vintage editions. It was distilled back on 2nd December 1988 and with only 2,200 bottles being produced it's a very limited edition indeed. The extraordinarliy subtle smokiness they've achieved is done by maturing the whisky in casks previously used for highly peated Islay single malts along with the later use of refill Sherry butts which adds extra layers of richness. The incredibly complex nose also features rich fruit and heather aromas alongside the delicate smokiness. Rich and creamy on the palate it signs off with an earthy smoke and light oak spiciness.
Tomatin distillery was founded in 1897 near the village of the same name, south of Inverness, and is classed as a being a 'Highland' distillery.
Whilst it closed briefly not long after being founded it expanded through most of the twentieth century to have, at its peak, a total of 23 stills on site. In 1985 it was purchased by the Takara Shuzo company and, as such, was the first single malt distillery to be owned by a Japanese business.
Much of their production goes towards the various Antiquary blends as well as their own single malt bottlings. Independent bottlings are also quite often seen.
Cù Bòcan is a recent range they've launched of strictly limited edtion whiskies. For one week each year they switch to lightly peated barley, of which just 90,000 litres per annum is produced, to produce a subtle, distinctive and, unusually for highland distillieries, lightly peated single malts.