Tonight sees the third meeting of our steadily developing whisky club. The idea being that we purchase a bottle collectively, so that we get chance to regularly drink interesting whisky that we might not have chosen, have afforded or got round to buying. Our host tonight, was the generous Tom and he had offered us three interesting bottles, all with a limited edition bottling. The one that was democratically selected was the Cú Bòcan Virgin Oak, which promised us an interesting take on a highland whisky.
The artwork on the box is great, but the spiel on the back oddly humorous. We decided that we must not be the target audience and that we shouldn’t let cliche get in the way of great whisky, so we opened, sniffed and tasted. But what was my opinion?
Nose: Powerfully Oaked, sweet honey, zesty lemon and gentle spices.
Taste: Initially the flavour was much the same as the nose, sweet with honey. At first this flavour was light, almost missable. However on drinking a few mouthfuls, it was more obvious that this flavour was complemented by light smoke and zest of lime and lemon.
As this flavour leaves the mouth there is a surge of oak, which washes over the tongue like a wooden ocean lapping at the beach. This wood is so unbelievably reminiscent of a bourbon, but there is none of the caramelly, brown sugar flavours of a bourbon. Instead it is fruity, with dark berry fruit notes. There is also the a vanilla and toffee flavour, that is almost desert like in its swirl.
Last the strength of wood numbs the tongue and the flavours present throughout repeat in little pockets of flavour. This is where the spicing appears, light, but noticeable. Think pumpkin pie and you won’t be far away.
Mouthfeel: Sweet, subtle, spicy, zesty, but most noticeably wooden.
Overall: The virgin oak, gives the whisky its heart and sets in mind quality bourbons, but there is something definitely Scottish about this dram, which gives it depth and character. If you ignore the almost painful marketing fluff, then beneath is an interesting, dynamic whisky, which we would encourage you all to try before it is no more.
More information: Cú Bòcan Website
Available: Whisky Galore @ The Green Welly Stop