Last year, Tomatin began the release of of a “Wood Influence” showcase series for the Cù Bòcan peated whisky, whose standard edition includes whisky matured in sherry, virgin oak and ex bourbon casks. I reviewed the sherry cask release here, and now head into virgin oak territory. It’s refreshing to see what Tomatin is doing with components, as the past half year saw both the release of the first two Cù Bòcan component bottles and the fascinating ‘Cuatro’ series highlighting four different sherry finishes (Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez) on the same spirit for three years, after maturing for nine years in ex bourbon casks.
I’ll start by saying that I generally like virgin oak maturation for scotch whisky, and this edition does not have the new make spirit notes that the sherry matured edition had. Nevertheless, this is still a rather young expression, and I found it rather fruity and sweet, with the peat taking a backseat.
Tomatin Cù Bòcan Virgin Oak Edition (46%ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold, legs are quick to vanish.
Nose: White bread toast, light smoke, lemon peel, a banana (the fruit itself, without the peel), yellow hay, pineapple, pear and a lot of cereal.
Palate: Light smokiness, lemon, a citrusy-zesty bitterness and a rum like note. The mouth feel is rather thin on this one.
Linger: Top of the throat gets that clean Highland peat, with a dry, light and clean sweetness on the back of the tongue.
I liked this expression better than its sherry counterpart, mainly for the lack of new make notes in it. I would assume the brand new oak is the most active, thus maturing the whisky faster than the already used sherry cask.