Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #137

Hazelburn 12 Year Old (46% abv OB)
Cambeltown Single Malt
Circa £46.00 70cl
A Skype Tasting - Hazelburn 12 Year Old
This was a result of a sample swap with another whisky enthusiast through Twitter. I've made some really great friends on Twitter, a few I have met at the whisky shows we've attended, but this was the first time I've swapped samples.

We each chose five drams from each others shelf and bottled up the miniatures and sent them off first class post. Then one evening we arranged a Skype call to run through some of the samples. We started our Skype meeting with a drop of The English Whisky Co Ltd Chapter 6, and this Hazelburn was dram No.2 of the evening.
Hazelburn is a fairly new to the range of whiskies produced at Springbank, and gains it's light, delicate character through being distilled three times in the distillery's old copper stills. It's made with unpeated barley, making the spirit light, fruity and very subtle.

Hazelburn is named after one of the old Campbeltown distilleries. Most of the distillery buildings are apparently still standing, though the distillery is long defunct.

First distilled in 1997, Hazelburn was first released as an 8 year old in 2005 and was so successful that all 6,000 bottles sold out within a matter of weeks. The 12 year old was released in 2009, and that was later followed by the CV.

So what did I think?

The Hazelburn 12 year old is matured in sherry casks and comes naturally coloured and non chill filtered. It has a lovely bronze colour and the nose is incredibly rich, the influence of the sherry being immediately apparent. There is a slight vanilla sweetness, and a herbal woody, oaken note too. On the palate it was very smooth, probably due to the triple distillation, a nutty sweetness, medicinal herbs, and a light peppery spice. The medium length finish starts with the peppery spice which is followed by a fruity sweetness shrouded in light smoke and a feint salty note at the very end.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of Hazelburn, and we followed this dram with some Springbank CV which paired beautifully with this Hazelburn.

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