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Hazelburn 12 Year Old 2010 Release

Average score from 6 reviews and 13 ratings 86

Hazelburn 12 Year Old 2010 Release

Product details

  • Brand: Hazelburn
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 10 year old
  • Bottled: 2010

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Hazelburn 12 Year Old 2010 Release

Triple distilled dram from Springbank distillery in Campeltown. I tried to look for some info about the maturation, but it's hard to find: apparently there’s sherry casks involved (but nothing else?).

Interesting whisky, a mix of dark tones and fruity notes. Definitely a dark horror comedy by Tim Burton. Like Dark Shadows fell over a nice, fruity vanilla palate.

Nose: Starts interestingly, spicy with barley, raisins and sherry. Shows some fruity side in a sour way. Feel of orange peel with ripe and dried fruits.

Taste: Nutty with cocoa and some toffee. Starts spicy and dark, but turns sweet and more mellow when given time. The dark side dominates, though. Citrus and creamy vanilla are the main characters. Vanilla comes with addition of water.

Finish: Length is good. Wee sour notes, mix of dark coffee and raw chocolate – fresh citrus notes in the background. Sherry and toffee are present as well.

Balance: Complex dram, dark and fruity. Very interesting, wish I had a whole bottle instead of a sample.


A sweet and pleasant whisky. This may develop over time, but based on the first dram this is a mellow whisky that doesn't attack you with complexity but has all the smoothness one could hope for in a triple distilled whisky.

Nose: First sniff has something grassy and rural about it. I smell cow manure, grass, fields. Further nosing gives away pleasant smells of sweet dried fruits, cake and toffee.

Palate: Toffee, sweet grass, christmas cake and a touch of lemon.

Finish: Not too long, but very warming, mellow and pleasant.

The 12 year costs $123 in Oregon. A bottle of Highland Park 12 sells for $48 and a bottle of Glenfarclas 12 sells for $43. The liquor store near where I work bought six bottles due to my suggestion. I need to buy one simply because the liquor store went with my suggestion. There are five bottles left. When I suggested the manager buy a few bottles of the 12 year, I didn't realize it would be so pricey.

Still, in all fairness to Springbank, Oregon's liquor control commission does really jack up the prices on booze, and some bottles get targeted for more taxes in seemingly arbitrary ways that reflect no apparent sense of logic other than the fact that anyone who buys such a bottle can afford it and will buy it even if it is jacked up to an ungodly amount. Ditto with slashing the prices of bottles that once were appraised as boutique items and then sat on shelves for two years. I've seen a bottle of scotch go from $130 down to $68. Which one? Tomatin Decades. Guess who paid the full price right before the price dropped? That's right: yours truly. I was quite irate when I saw it selling for half price the very next month.

The OLCC is allegedly "non profit" and part of the "government" but in practice it's basically a private organization that enjoys excessively high salaries paid to its management, along with a fair amount of corruption regarding which bar gets its liquor license. In other words, it has too much power and not enough oversight on behalf of the general public.

A few years ago, the director was forced to resign after being cited for drunk driving. I would rather have seen her keep her job and overhaul the commission, lowering prices on liquor across the board. I'm sure she wouldn't have driven drunk again. Sending a bunch of spies all over town posing as 19 and 20 year olds is a waste of tax payer dollars in a city with serious heroin and meth problems. In Europe, 19 year olds can drink responsibly. I think that's fair.

Americans need to learn how to drink moderately and responsibly. The college system of indoctrination, treating the over consumption of booze like a sporting event is tragic. I say, if a man or a woman can give her life in a war under the deluded belief they are keeping the "free world safe" then he or she should be allowed a few drinks at any bar in town.

Ditto with voting. If you are old enough to vote for president, then you are old enough to drink responsibly in a restaurant or a bar. Now, I would rather see the OLCC put money into educating bar tenders when to cut people off at the bar, rather than scaring the crap out of bouncers and bartenders to card anyone who looks under 40. That is just absurd.

I was carded in bars up until a few years ago, and I'm in my late 40's now. Get real. That's almost as absurd as Australians being fined monetarily if they chose not to vote in an election. Is that democracy at work? Hardly. It is thinly veiled totalitarianism that treats adults like children. Personally, I don't vote in federal elections. That is my statement of protest. I can't imagine being fined for my right NOT to vote for corrupt cronies as my "leaders." The US is run by corporations that are managed at the top by a small cadre of trillionaire families. If that's democracy, then I'm the Pope.

I see the Hazelburn 12 sells for $73 on Master of Malt. That's more like it. If only the price here reflected that cost plus the cost of shipping to Oregon. That would be quite refreshing. Instead, it's nearly double the price here thanks to the OLCC's system of taxation. Unfair! I wouldn't be surprised if the bottle tax in Oregon is 40% higher than what the OLCC paid for it upon receipt of shipment. Bogus. Dastardly. Fie!


from a purchased sample

Nose: Vanilla - extract and frosting. Smoky with a pinch of salt and seawater dampened pebbles in honey. Melon, lemon, and some green apple. Very slight porridgy. A few floral notes. Maybe even some putty. Toast. Grassy and fermented sugar. Then there's this odd metalic note. Hmm.

Palate: Lively, with honey, sandalwood, a few whiffs of smoke, more putty, and zesty on bitter lemon rind. Stale ginger root and soft pepper. Sweet and a little drying.

Finish: Smoke (light), honey, wood, lemon zest. It's really very good. Accessible and straightforward. Dull wet wood and a delicate wax coat. Surprisingly supple and substantial. No rough edges here, and some pleasant flavoring. I like this

i like this bottle. even the 8 year is not bad. However, this said, the Longrow Gajo Barolo is fantastic. snag one if you can find it! they are getting more and more rare. . . .


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.

Nice, descriptive review. It took me quite awhile to get on good terms with Springbank (it was the 12 year old cask strength that finally did it, but not right away), but now I look for new expressions wherever I go. I've had a few Springbanks and one Longrow now - certainly an acquired taste, the latter reminding me of Ledaig 10 - but haven't come across any Hazelburn yet. You've got me interested with this review, though. Slainte!

Thank you for your kind words @Wills -- I had taken a break during Ramadan. I'm back now with a lot of new tastings. You can also follow my blog at maltactivist.com --- cheers!


This weekend my vacation starts (a week with my daughter at a family resort off of Georgian Bay in Ontario), and since I'm not bringing any whisky with me, I better get some tastings in now!

Of course, I'm a huge Campbeltown fan, so I was very happy to find the Hazelburn 12. I enjoyed the CV (rating it an 86) so I was eager to try this one!

The colour is light gold with yellow highlights. On the nose, it is light, citrusy, with a whiff of Hershey's milk chocolate(!) I get rising dough, some brine and iodine. Water brings out more malted barley notes. Very clean but also very light.

The palate is much like the nose, with lemon zest and salty brine - medicinal but also light-bodied. Good summery character. Water changes the mouthfeel from zippy to creamy, adds some of those milk chocolate notes I picked up on the nose. Quite refreshing, and if memory serves, more body than the CV.

The finish is clean and crisp, with some Middle Eastern spices on the back like cumin. Nice long, gentle, exotic finish. Very close to the CV, but despite the lightness it does seem to have a little more body. Perfect for a hot day like today, methinks.

I found it interesting when I first opened my Hazelburn 12 yo it was light, fruity with an undertone of toffee, vanilla and nuts..this was about a month ago. I poured myself some just now and it has lost practically all its fruitiness. It has transformed into what seems to be a dessert scotch. The vanilla and caramel nose is so sweet that it reminds me of a nice rum. The palate now is cocoa, coffee, still nutty but the vanilla and caramel is so prominent. It really is lovely and one of my favorites at the moment. Since Springbank only devotes 10% of its production efforts to Hazelburn, this malt is hard to find. Although it's kind of pricey for a 12 yo, I'm willing to pay it because it's that good and different. Thank goodness I was able to procure another bottle to appreciate at a later date. I also have a Hazelburn 8 yo waiting in the wings but I have read it doesn't hold a candle to its older brother.


Besides the Hazelburn 8 Year Old Small Casks for Belgium I also tried this official release of the Hazelburn 12 Year Old. It was not a fair battle. This four hear older whisky is more robust, fuller and simply put better.

This one is rather dark, an intense amber. This was clearly a sherry cask. The beads in the glass promise good things to come.

The nose is very aromatic and a lot more complex then the younger brother. Ik get a rich, fruity nose with raisins, plums, red berries bathing in sherry (somewhat drying) and nuts. A truckload of caramel, walnuts and even some Italian coffee. Oh, my, there is even brown sugar and rum! Slightly waxy. This is very good indeed!

Once past the lips, the sweet-bitter interplay goes crescendo: coffee, vanilla, malt, Turkish delight, tobacco, … Wow!

The drying finish – that lasts longer than it takes for my wife to get dressed – is spicy and reveals a touch of brine at the death.

This is truly an aromatic top dram for those who like their whisky sweet. I fear it may be a bit too much for some. The cost of this one is the same as the 8 Year Old Small Cask for Belgium – around 60 EUR – but worth every penny. This is a choice easily made.


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