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For some reason I'm becoming increasingly fascinated by the various expressions coming out of Springbank. And so the Hazelburn 12 fits right in!
The thick legs running down the side of my nosing glass confirm the presence of something sugary so it's no surprise that the first nose is a melted bowl of honey butter. As I savor the comforting aromas a second nose whisks me away to a field of green with delicate daffodils dotting the landscape. But then a slight muddle of musty moss is thrown my way - like a forgotten pantry filled with sack after sack of baking flour. Strange. Desperately I peek outside and discover a tiny bundle of crackling heather. The nose is not perfect but it's certainly intriguing.
The quite silky, medium bodied, delivery brings with it a rush of dry spices. Reminded me of a box of star anise I have in my kitchen cupboard. As my palate tingles under the spicy assault there comes the promise of a sweetened sugary syrup bringing with it some order to the proceedings.
The slightly bitter finish is held together by a not so unpleasant touch of fennel and aniseed. Let it linger a while longer and you can feel a thin chocolate wafer come out of no where.
While I'm generous with my praise I know many who won't like this type of unusual flavor profile. And that's too bad because I think flaws build character and this whisky is just that.