Whisky production has been central to the way of life in this area most probably since the 15th when drovers would stop to fill their ram’s horns at the still of the old laird’s house. This house was part of the Tomatin estate and located where the modern day Distillery stands. 1897. The first formal distillery on the site was established in 1897. The settlement of Tomatin was formed as result of the wealth created by the distillery. Around 80% of their employees still live on site in the distillery houses, so working at Tomatin is more than just a job for their employees; it is a way of life. This in turn is reflected in the quality of whisky produced; every bottle of whisky they make is distilled with pride.
The smooth, rounded hills sheltering the Tomatin Distillery reflect the softer side of nature in this quiet corner of the Highlands. Here, bubbling pure spring water, tender barley and gentle patience all go into creating an incredibly soft Highland whisky. A whisky which is as easy to enjoy as it is hard to forget.
Tomatin describe their whisky perfectly: "Since 1897 there has been a quiet revolution unfolding in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. In this idyllic spot, the naturally soft water of the Allt na Frith burn is introduced to tender Scottish barley. Later, from the tall, slim copper stills of the Tomatin Distillery a mellow, fruity spirit is born. You have heard the myths of this often wild and beautiful place. Now hear the truth: there is a softer side to the Highlands. There is Tomatin."
The Tomatin 18 Year Old is a truly world class malt. Matured in traditional oak casks and first fill Oloroso Sherry butts, honey and soft oak flavours develop into a hint of dark chocolate with a citrus bite before a sustained sweet and slightly dry finish.
During the last week of every year, Tomatin Distillery use lightly peated barley to produce their Cù Bòcan whisky. This spirit is filled into 1st fill ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry and Virgin Oak casks.
"Why 'Cù Bòcan'?" we hear you ask...
Cù Bòcan has stalked residents of the remote Highland village of Tomatin for centuries, his legend embellished by the hound's increasingly fractious behaviour. Sightings are rare, once in a generation, but are always terrifying. A distillery worker, out walking late, was once relentlessly pursued by an imposing black beast, steam spiralling from flared nostrils, teeth bared. Compelled beyond all natural reason to feel the hound's dense fur he stopped and reached out, hand trembling, only to see the ghostly spectre - Cù Bòcan - dissolve before his eyes leaving nothing but a vacuum of deathly silence and an inky blue cloud of smoke, soon spirited away across the peat moorland…
The legend of Cù Bòcan lives on in this lightly peated single malt Scotch Whisky from Tomatin Distillery.
You are initially hit with aromas of coconuts and cream with some botanic notes, parsley and coriander. The smoke emerges after a minute, but only drifting past the nose. There is a mesmeric mix of lime, grapefruit and tangerines with rich almond and aniseed. The palate is initially feather light, followed by a honeyed smoke; toasted almonds. The rich spice of cloves, cinnamon and star anise create an enigmatic elegance. Imagine a café latte with fresh chocolate shavings. The finish is light with a hint of sweet smoke.