The Hazelburn 12 is no longer produced by Springbank. It has been replaced by the 10. I lucked out when I popped in to a wine merchants I was passing in Dudley and found this bottle and a 2009 Benromach cask strength. I think I paid just under £50 for it.
It's a typical Springbank in that it's quite complex and changes a lot in the bottle. It's difficult to pin down.
It can be drunk neat but I find it's at it's best when it has sat for a good 30 mins or so and then has a little water added. A teaspoon in a 50ml pour is about right for me.
The nose on this is very interesting. It is both sweet and sour. Bees wax, oranges, maple syrup, honeyed cereal and leather.
Mouthfeel is not especially oily. Arrival is initially sweet but quickly goes sour. Similar flavours as present on nose initially bitter oranges, some leather, tobacco and the shadow of peat (it feels like it is peaty but it is not, it catches in the throat like a peated malt).
Arrival and development are close together. There is a fleeting note of peaches on the development.
The finish goes on and on and is generally sour. With tanins and tobacco.
A typical Springbank really. Complex. Almost too complex for it's own good. I wonder what casks were used? It doesn’t seem like a typical Bourbon or Sherry cask whisky. So I'd guess at a mixture of both.
Challenging and enjoyable but I didn't love it. It tries to tiptoe the line between sweet and sour but probably leans just a little too much towards sour to be truly wonderful.
Still to think this retailed for less than £40. It's a lot of whisky for the money at that price.