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I just opened that bottle yesterday but I feel to give you my first impression of this young Hazelburn. This is distilled using only air-dried malt so I guess this Hazelburn will really be the unpeated Springbank that it is supposed to be. It also been matured in small cask of the Rundlets and Kilderkins types, so oak will probably play a big role for this role. Lets see.
Nose: Yes it is there, the oak. It,s almost like new oak with peach in syrop, pinneaple and vanilla. But it last only a while, with time I have rye spices, some pine and a fresh citrusy alcohol kick. The vanilla get creamier with air and I have a floral note with the spices, maybe violet.
Palate: Now you feel the higher ABV. It does the job. The malt is big with cooked peach flavor and a huge and surprising pepper rush carried by the alcohol heat. With time and build up, the pepper recessed behind a general sweetness. It is beautiful but a bit simple.
Finish: With the first gap of air after swallowing the oak from the nose is back as well as the fruits flavors but it doesn't last. It fades rapidly and leave place to the rye spices and the alcohol burn.
Balance is good on the nose and palate but just ok on the finish where the alcohol takes too much place for me (Be aware that I am very sensitive to alcohol).
Conclusion: The oak has been very well managed. It plays a big role but it is not over the top and leaves place to the beautiful malt that is very present without becoming heavy. The alcohol works on the nose and palate but for a reason I don't know it is a bit too sharp on the finish. To be fare, I have to admit that while writing this, 8 minutes after my swallowing, I still have the fruity malt in my mouth and the alcohol is long gone. All in all, it is a very good whisky without any wow factor.