Forest Gump said “life is like a box of chocolates”. If the world of scotch was a box of chocolates, I would imagine Cu Bocan is the gross orange flavored one that everyone avoids once they find out what it is. I can usually find elements of almost any whiskey to enjoy, but I was hard pressed to find that here.
In the glass, Cu Bocan showed long legs that really clung to the glass. On the nose, I found it pungent and perfumy. A rather bold dose of a high proof whiskey. Before I knew what it was, I had assumed it to be a cask strength because of this. It vaguely reminded me of the Glen Livet Nadura, though the Nadura had some pleasant undertones on the nose that made you want to drink it to see what flavors that would turn into on the palate. Cu Bocan really lacked that character and really just had that high proof on the nose. If I was forced to stretch, there may have been some caramel notes there too.
On the palate, heat and oak were what this malt was packing! The warmth stayed with me, and the rest seemed to evolve to predominant oakiness. There were some spicy elements to it that I would compare to cinnamon, with very little else at play. I found on the second sip no evolution past this, and on the third, even with a drop of water, nothing else really presented itself. The heat of the malt lingered, but not in an incredibly cumbersome way as the tongue went a bit numb with each passing sip (or maybe my taste buds were just bored with how little there was offered by the whiskey).
All in all, as an eight and a half year veteran of the club, travelling Scotland visiting distilleries, and with a decent collection of my own, I’d like to think I know a bit about this stuff. And if in fact I do, my verdict on this malt is a solid pass for lack of depth, complexity and refinement. But for a sanity check I read some other reviews online after writing the above, and there are a lot of people speaking to the opposite and praising the merits of Cu Bocan.
So I put this to you: those who care enough about the whiskeys you drink to read up on them. Let me know what you think on this bottle. Have I missed something, or are the online reviews nothing more than gimmick and hype? I appreciate everyone has their own taste, but I really struggle to find anything about this whiskey to praise.
Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m interested to see what you, the real scotch drinkers think.