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I’ve got a dram of Hazelburn here with me today. If you’re not familiar with Hazelburn, it’s the other, other Springbank. With Springbank being the legend that it is, and Longrow being heavily peated, the gently peated and triple distilled Hazelburn is often left overshadowed by its more popular siblings. Well, who doesn’t love an underdog? Anyway this one’s 10 years old, and is part of Springbank’s recently revamped lineup.
Nose: The nose is light and crisp, but rather closed initially. Big vanilla, red apple skin, apple cider, coconut, honey, cream éclairs, oak, woodspice, wood chips, toffee, aloe.
Palate: What an incredible mouthfeel. They don’t come any silkier and creamier than this. Sweet coconut, vanilla frosting, whipped cream, mango, kiwi, icing sugar.
Finish: Between medium and short, which suits the style. Cream, sweet coconut, vanilla frosting, icing sugar, whipped cream, faint peat, faint earth, roasted malt, anise. and lingering red apple.
Thoughts: I like this one a lot. Very light sipping, easily one of Springbank’s most “accessible” whiskies. Rarely does a whisky’s texture strike me as much as this one does; it’s got a really velvety mouthfeel. I’d say this belongs in that special category of whiskies wherein my use of the word “smooth” is meant very much as a compliment. Beyond that, there’s also a unique set of flavours. Quality barley, coconut, icing sugar, vanilla, whipped cream, and fruits give us a pretty distinctive profile. I like how the individually sweet flavours don’t culminate into anything cloying or syrupy. They come together nicely and reach a good balance. Cool stuff, and quite different. Probably not the Springbank you know. Less rugged, more posh.