Scots are used to a tipple, however, the festive season is an even better excuse for a dram… or three!
And Tomatin Distillery has this Christmas covered, having just picked up the Best Whisky award at the 2022 Highland Food and Drink Awards, for its lightly peated brand, Cù Bòcan Single Malt.
The award-winning whisky is made for just a few weeks during winter each year, combining a celebration of subtleties of smoke and perfectly balanced sweetness.
A whisky born from experimentation back in 2005, the Cù Bòcan Signature expression was then launched in 2013.
“Although initially intended for blending, after recognising the quality of the spirit, we continued to produce small batches of lightly peated spirit every winter for single malt”, said Julia Mackillop, senior brand manager of Cu Bocan Single Malt.
“Cù Bòcan is an experimental Highland Single Malt that explores innovative finishes to create whiskies full of intrigue and surprise. We’re here to unlock the world of whisky, which means demystifying it.
“We are renowned for exploring innovative maturations, our Creation series pushes the boundaries of Scotch whisky with experimentation, while still paying homage to whisky’s protective heritage.”
Picking up a HIFAD Award for this popular whisky is a boost to the makers after a tough spell through the pandemic.
Ms Mackillop said: “After a successful rebrand for Cù Bòcan in 2019, the following year saw a global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns which, of course, had a negative impact on our relaunch back into the market.
“As a brand we had to adapt many of our marketing communications, and work virtually with our export markets across the world. 2021 saw a fantastic period of recovery for Cù Bòcan and that success has continued into 2022.
“Earlier this year we released two new whiskies in our Creation series, Creation #3 and Creation #4, and more recently we released our first age stated whisky – Cù Bòcan 15 Year Old.
“The Best Whisky award win proves that our commitment to quality, taste and sustainability has been recognised and we’re delighted with the win. We have exciting plans for the future and look forward to opening up the world of lightly peated whisky with Cù Bòcan single malt.”
It is not only good whisky that Tomatin Distillery makes, but wise choices about the environment as they pride themselves on being custodians of the land.
Sustainable practices such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of non-fossil fuels are the cornerstones of the Tomatin Distillery and Scotch Whisky Industry’s efforts to support a low carbon economy.
Earlier this year the distillery joined hands with Highland Tourism CIC to promote sustainable tourism across the region.
Managing director Stephen Bremner said: “We are aware that it is very easy to make statements about supporting sustainability and having a care for the environment but it’s actions that really count.
“This substantial investment in the work of Highland Tourism demonstrates our real commitment to a number of goals.
“We’re working with fellow members of the Scotch Whisky Association towards achieving the ambitious target, for the industry, of being carbon net zero by 2045 as well as supporting our key responsibility to our local community by protecting the local environment.
“We have watched the rapid growth of Highland Tourism and believe their goals for the sector, the region, and world-class sustainable status will bring many benefits for the economy and the environment which we are glad to support.”
Additionally, Tomatin Distillery is currently in talks with Highland Tourism to develop a peatland restoration initiative to offset the small amount used in its production of Cù Bòcan Single Malt.
Since 1897, people have worked hard to build the Tomatin community that exists today and lies at the heart of everything it does.
Tours of the distillery are available 7 days a week, where you can go along and see the work that they are doing. It is highly recommended that bookings are made in advance to avoid disappointment.