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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Hazelburn 15 year old 2003, Single Port Cask

The color of these Hazelburns gets darker with each day. It's a single refill port hoggie this time, though judging by the whisky's rosy tint, it wasn't a particularly refill hog. This particular single cask appears to have been bottled specifically for the US of A, selected by Pacific Edge in 2018. So I'm right on time as always.

Distillery: Springbank
Owner: J&A Mitchell
Brand: Hazelburn
Region: Campbeltown
Age: 15 years (April 2003 - November 2018)
MaturationRefill Port Hogshead
Outturn: 264 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 56.6%
(from a bottle split)


The nose is not at all what I'd expected. It's kind of odd, in fact. It starts with clay, saline, hazelnuts, plaster and mothballs. Then it picks up toasted almonds, a hint of antiseptic and something between barrel char and graphite. 45 minutes in: blueberry pie. The palate arrives oddly as well, reading like a wonky cheese plate: gorgonzola, brie, raw almonds and a wee blob of berry preserves. It's hot, tart, tannic and slightly smoky. It finishes salty, cheesy and farmy with minor notes of tart berries and peppery sulfur.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or >1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ with the nose: brine, mothballs, metal, wood smoke, dark chocolate and gorgonzola. It tastes of wheat, paper, tart berries and dirty hay, while the finishes matches than palate.


Some drinkers would grade this whisky a D or F, with its cheese and sulfur, and I would understand that. I'm not going to tell you this whisky makes any sense, and it's possible I received a weird sample, but I appreciate the way the nose shuffles gears and dimensions. And the palate is quite different than anything else I've had this year. But like yesterday's 13yo Oloroso, today's 15yo Portie crumbles when diluted. Can't say I like where this week's whiskies are headed...

Availability - Sold out?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 81 (neat only; when diluted it sinks deep into the 70s)

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