Unleash the beast.
About 15 miles south of Inverness, on the edge of the River Findhorn, sits Tomatin Distillery. There is not even a freeway off-ramp for the little town of Tomatin. But that’s OK, keeps the city-folk out. For more than a century Tomatin lives and breathes Whisky. The entire population is less than 200, and since their founding in 1897, Tomatin Distillery has had to build special housing on site for employees who come from the surrounding countryside to work seasonally at the plant. Back in the 1970s, this little hamlet produced more Whisky than any place else in Scotland.
Well, that’s no longer true, but their Highland single malt is still a core component of many of the finest blends. They stab off a select amount of their production for their own signature single malt Whisky line across a range of ages and special editions.
The story behind this sinister little gem comes from the legend of a phantom dog, Cù Bòcan, who has haunted the Highland village for centuries. Sightings are very rare, but always terrifying. It has yet to be established if the beast is indeed real or merely a ghost of the night. We’re not sure which version is scarier, to be honest. If you’re a fan of Tomatin, you’re surely aware that they traditionally make only unpeated Whisky. Except for the recent Cù Bòcan releases, that is. And they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
After you open the bottle, you’ll also quickly realise that his bark is worse than his bite. Tomatin Cù Bòcan has been matured in a mixture of ex Bourbon, ex Sherry and virgin oak casks and is only (s)lightly peated. It's still smooth, delicate and extremely easy to sip on. Tomatin makes this type of Whisky for one week a year, so it’s an elusive breed in more ways than one.