What’s one way to try and distinguish your Scotch from an extremely crowded field? Tie it to a rural legend and launch a fancy marketing campaign around it. That was obviously enough to get me to cover it, which is why you are now learning about Cù Bòcan from the Tomatin Distillery in the Highlands region of Scotland.
As the story goes, one dark night, oh wait, that’s not the story. Here’s the story:
Cù Bòcan has stalked residents of the remote Highland village of Tomatin for centuries, his legend embellished by the hellhound’s increasingly fractious behaviour.
Sightings are rare, once in a generation, 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…
With regards to the whiskey itself, Cù Bòcan, which has no specific age mentioned, was matured in a combination of virgin oak, bourbon and Sherry casks. Bottled at 46% ABV, it prices around £44. It is non-chill filtered and described as offering hints of “light smoke intertwined with rich citrus and exotic spices.”