43% ABV, 750 mlSituated over 1,000 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Monadhliath Mountains, Tomatin Distillery is one of the highest distilleries in Scotland. Its origins date back to the 15th century when drovers, bringing their cattle over the high mountain passes to the Tomatin market, filled their flasks from a still hidden at the Old Laird's House, which is situated adjacent to the distillery. Since that time, centuries of isolation and generations of family tradition (some workers at the distillery are the fifth generation of their family to work there) have created a distillery rooted in Scottish heritage and tradition.
Tomatin Cu Bocan Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky pays homage to a spectral hound (named Cu Bocan) who has haunted the distillery for centuries. The hound was once spotted by a distillery employee, who felt compelled "beyond all natural reason" to touch the hound's fur. As he reached out his hand, the hound dissolved "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."
For one week each year, Tomatin Distillery produces a spectral peated single malt scotch whisky, in contrast to their typical unpeated expressions. The whisky is crafted from malted barley, which is smoked over a peat flame to approximately 15 phenol parts per million. After the barley has been peated, it is fermented and then twice distilled through Tomatin's copper pot stills. The stills have a round, flat shape that gives the whisky a rounder and sweeter flavor profile, notes Douglas Campbell, Tomatin's master distiller.