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Monday, June 4, 2018

Hazelburn 10 year old (current edition)

Good news everyone, it's HAZELBURN WEEK!

*boards up the windows as the riots begin*

I've been waiting to do a week of unfutzed-with Hazelburn for almost three years. Really. And now the time has come. I'm starting this week's Hazel trio with the current 10 year old. Its sparring partner is the whisky I'll be reviewing on Wednesday. The 10 year old is a bourbon cask Hazelburn, while Wednesday's is sherry cask Hazelburn.

Distillery: Springbank
Brand: Hazelburn
Region: Campbeltown
Age: minimum 10 years
Maturation: ex-bourbon casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant Added? No

It has my favorite whisky color: five beer piss. The nose leads with barley, lemon and milk chocolate. Notes of apple peel progress into apple cider vinegar. Wet dog, sand and clay. Hint of rosewater. Faint peat notes. Yeasty. Reminiscent of Tobermory 10. There's also something old school about it, perhaps it's the utter unsexiness. The palate starts off with fuji apples, barley, bran flakes and almond cookies. Very thick mouthfeel. A little bit of heat to it, but not bad. Anise, peppercorns and a mild sweetness. A lime note appears after 15 minutes and keeps expanding. The simple but lively finish has tart apples and lots of barley. Mild sweetness and mild pepperiness.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or <1tbsp water per 30mL whisky
The nose becomes more herbal and mossy. Sweeter too. Lemon zest, green apples, white nectarines and a toasty grain undertow. The palate is lean but not mean. Light herbal bitterness, honey and bran flakes. A sprinkling of yeast, drops of lime juice. Kinda beer-y at times. Its finish is sweet and tart. Lots of barley.

This is the best Hazelburn I've ever had. The casks, probably refills, get out of the way and let the (very good) spirit do its thing. At the same time, it's not under-matured. There's just a lot of whisky in this whisky. You'll have to take a look at the notes above to see if this suits your palate. It does well for mine.

It's too bad that a decent 10 year old single malt like this now costs $60+ (whether one buys it in The States or has it shipped from Europe). That's all that keeps me from buying a bottle.

Availability - many specialty whisky retailers
Pricing - $60-$75 US, $45-$65 (ex-VAT) Europe
Rating - 86