Hazelburn has come of age. The oldest version out there seems to be 22 years old by now, but this one, released last year, must have been the oldest back then. I feel like an old fart when I say that I remember the first ten year old Hazelburn being released. Maybe because I am an old fart?
This particular edition, to Springbank modus operandi, is a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, the 70% of the casks being the sherry kind. 3600 bottles have been released, so sort-of limited I guess.
I have no idea what the original MSRP was on this bottle, but currently they seem to be going for € 425 in the secondary market, which is not as much as I expected, to be honest. I guess that is more or less on par with what the initial price was, based on what Springbank generally sets you back.
Anyway, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so let’s go!
From a distance it smells rather sweet and gives a whiff of dark chocolate and pastry, but upon closer inspection there are a lot of other things happening. Grain, oak, some pastry still. But also coastal notes and tree bark. On the nose this one is very mature with lots of gentle notes. Some sherry, but not too powerful. Slightly yeasty with a hint of cocoa powder.
The palate brings a bit more of a typical Springbank character, even though it’s a Hazelburn. There’s a lot of mature funkiness with hessian, moldy cellars, things like that. Hints of straw, marram grass, sea salt. It’s very gentle with only a little bit of alcohol bite.
Still slightly drying, with sawdust of tree bark. A very long finish with those gentle sherry notes again. Lovely and complex with dried apples, some apricot in the background.
This is one of those moments where you understand € 400 price tags on whisky (a little bit). As in, I get why some things are far more expensive than others. Whether or not that should be € 400 is another discussion.
The initial nose of sweetness didn’t entice me all that much, but all I had to do to get past that was just give it a couple of seconds to open up after pouring. Epic stuff!