Whisky Review – Tomatin Cù Bòcan Bourbon Cask

Tomatin Cù Bòcan Bourbon Cask

46% ABV

Non Chill Filtered

No Added Colouring

£48.30 From Master of Malt
  

It’s Tomatin’s lightly peated malt, Cù Bòcan, this time matured fully in ex-bourbon casks. I quite like what they have done with these limited releases, highlighting the cask type and showing what the spirit can do. What’s the next release though? Are we going to get some port cask? Pleeeease??? 🙂

Limited only to 6000 bottles!


Nose.

Gentle camphor and heather smoke on the first sniff. Delving deeper we have sweet, sugary vanilla bonbons, some sugar coated almonds, American hard gums (the white ones). All the time interspersed with puffs of smoke. Heather floral. Some nice grassy moss. Fields drying out in summer sun. A little time and more jelly sweets, jelly beans and babies! Pine wood, almost Christmas trees. There is an awful lot going on. 10 mins in the glass and we have even more confectionary, sweetie shop dusting sugar in the air. There are touches of sweet glazed BBQ ribs in the background now. This is a very deep, richly fulfilling nose. Heavenly. 

Palate.

Initially oak bitter notes on arrival, then some ABV heat, subsiding quickly. Then the fun begins. The mouthfeel – oily, thick, viscous, very coating. Smokey, oily flavours surround the mouth. Sweetness comes through with richly intense vanilla cream. Creme brûlée. Biscuity malt. Then some smoke, and earthy elements, like inhaling a smouldering posy of heather and field flowers but most of that smoke staying on the tongue. There are touches of citrus juices in the background. A thoroughly engaging palate here, quite straightforward, but very rich and moreish. Must save some for water!

Finish.

A medium-long length sweet and turning drier finish. Icing sugar filling the senses. Then remaking oaky layers, kindling smoke, pine wood. Akin to chewing on a familiar pencil. Whiffs of smoke remain as a memory, with a touch of lemon oil. 

Adding water.

A few drops added to what I have left (it seems to sip itself). The nose now has more floral to the smokiness. More intense, sweeter smoke. The palate has more of a green fruits thing going on amongst the oaky elements, and some added liquorice and herbal notes. The finish retains and amplifies the herbal notes now, and is all together more rounded and intensive an experience. Hmmm. With or without? I like both versions, probably undiluted slightly more, but if you like your dram with more of a herbal edge then diluted it is. It’s definitely one to safely experiment with water and the outcome is very enjoyable. Added a touch more water (it takes it well), now we have some more fruitiness coming forward with dried pineapple and mango up front. That has transposed to the palate also, juicy fruitiness now of a tropical variety. The finish is still full of luscious oak and smokey joys. This is a tremendous, complex, evolving, and most importantly enjoyable whisky. Loving every drop. 

Conclusion. 

I’ve liked every Cù Bòcan. This doesn’t disappoint. It’s a lovely, lovely, flavoursome, diverse dram. I think suitable for any time of the year. While sipping this whisky I was reminded a lot of some other lightly peated Japanese whiskies I’ve had in the past (Hakushu). But quite frankly this has more going for it. There are not that many bottles out there people. One (maybe 2!) less when I get my hands on it. 😉

Thanks so much to Tomatin for providing the sample. 

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