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Hazelburn 8 Year Old

Average score from 6 reviews and 12 ratings 79

Hazelburn 8 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Hazelburn
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 8 year old

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@Uisgebetha
Hazelburn 8 Year Old

Looks like white wine in the glass, very pale. Triple distilled therefore lightness should be the theme, but the nose is more typical Springbank to me, pine, coconut and sweet smokiness. Perhaps it is lighter than usual though.

The mouth feel is certainly light with a spirit alcohol attack, fresh tasting but not necessarily refreshing. Pine, coconut, smoke, bran (unexpectedly) and a touch of sea air. Not a hint of fruit for me and fairly dry throughout. The finish is quite short and somehow hollow, just a grassy freshness lingers.

I think I prefer the heavier, less refined Springbank spirits, but I will certainly try and experience an older version of Hazelburn before making a final judgement.

@Victor

Hazelburn whiskies are produced at the Springbank distillery. They are unpeated. The tasting notes for the reviewed bottle were taken 3 weeks after the bottle was opened. Now, 6 months after bottle opening, the primary observation of the change in flavours is that this whisky has become progressively much sweeter on palatal delivery and on finish

Nose: astringent apple, pear, and grass, with a hint of airplane glue and very light salt. Water turns the astringent to neutral. Nice barley flavours, strong and pointed

Taste: the nose flavours translate with a greater fullness. In addition there are hints of anise and grape, and, mid-delivery, a rush of honey-sweetness. This bottle is much sweeter after 3 weeks than when first opened. A few drops of water turns this extremely sweet

Finish: with or without water Hazelburn 8 becomes sweeter and fruitier as the delivery progresses into the finish. It ends on sweet apple and grape notes

Balance: I had a restaurant sample of this whisky which I loved, so I later got a bottle. This bottle is so far not impressing me as highly as did the first sample I had, but it is nonetheless a nice whisky. Hazelburn 8 YO is a very straightforward uncomplicated whisky, whose appeal lies in subleties and nuances. Shades of barley, variations of fruitiness, and nuances of sweet/dry/tart balance, particularly when freshly opened, are the primary features to observe. After 6 months opened, I would describe this bottle as a "sweet grassy treat", which would appeal to you if drinking sweet grass is something you like to do

How do you compare the 12 year old to this? I reviewed the 12 and gave it exactly the same score as you've given the 8 - though I suspect I'm a tad more generous than you.

Thanks for the wonderful review!

Really love the Springbank offerings! Haven't tried this one but from having tried the 12 and a sample of the 8 yr old Sauternes cask, this one seems to be less pungent, which the 12 yr old is. Very good&informative review!

@Pudge72

Ok, I have read each of the three previous reviews of this bottle. Based on the descriptions I either experienced an 'off' bottle that was off in a wonderful way, or Hazelburn has done a tremendous job with altering/tweaking the bottling for the better. Whatever the reason, it has inspired me to write my first review in over a year and a half. Megawatt's well done review shared the most elements with my experience from last night, compared to the other previously written reviews.

A friend and I went to a Robbie Burns dinner/tasting where this was the 2nd whisky of three.

At first nosing, we both got light/sweet notes. Cotton candy was immediately apparent to me, while my friend noticed apricots. As time passed the nose seemed to change several times. At various points, pineapple and candied grapefruit popped up on my radar. Mixed in later on, quite oddly, was the aroma of a new pencil eraser. This may have been a by-product of the youth of the whisky...I don't know how else to explain it. Somehow, this unusual note worked, I believe in part due to the more active nature of the aroma profile notes as a whole.

The palate continued the sweet profile where orange evolved into juicy apricot fruit (not straight juice though). A fresh, lighter feeling, yet still quite complex profile.

The apricot remained, though started to dry out, on the finish.

My friend enjoyed the whisky so much that he got another glass (I'm kicking myself for joining him). He let me nose that 2nd glass, and the sweet apricot aroma became quite pronounced, the sweetness of the apricot and cotton candy then morphed into a very strong caramel note, similar to smelling one of those Kraft caramel squares that were part of Halloween treat bags while growing up. Overall, the intensity of the aromatic notes of that 2nd glass really enhanced the overall experience.

At only eight years old the light colour of the bottle, similar to apple juice 1/2 diluted with water, was not surprising. The overall complexity of the aroma profile, along with the lack of alcohol bite (thank you triple distillation!) seems pleasantly unusual for a younger whisky. Overall, a very enjoyable 1st time Hazelburn experience.

Thank you for the kind comments. I have not yet tried any other Hazelburns, so comparative notes are not possible for me. That being said, my friend (who does enjoy generally lighter profile whiskies like this one, early on in his whisky journey) did buy a bottle within a week of the tasting event, and it is on my wishlist to pick up at some point (so the $$$, at some point, will be where the keyboard is currently).

FWIW, I would start with the 8 yo, if for no other reason than it is the bottling that is closest to the 'essence' of Hazelburn (younger age, with no finishing of the product). However, you may get a richer profile from the extra four years of the 12 yo...and at the same price? That situation has the potential for a great value purchase.

@Pudge72 - This is a whisky I might have passed by, but it's now got my attention thanks to your great review. Hazelburn is the only one of the three Springbank brands I haven't tried. The only question that remains is: which one? The three expressions available in this area -- the 8 yo, the 8 yo Sauternes Finish, and the 12 yo -- are all priced the same, so I may have to do some research. But you make this one sound like a good starting point.

@Megawatt

Nose: soft, lemony, grassy/floral. Very lowland in style, though not as sweet as Glenkinchie. Opens up with the addition of an ice cube.

Taste: sweet, crisp attack on the palate. Quickly becomees peppery, and in spite of its unpeated origins it develops a stiff note of smoke, followed by a salty tang. Not a "big" whisky but it packs a punch.

Finish: fades rather quickly on that smoky, peppery note.

Balance: more of a subtle whisky along the lines of Auchentoshan, Glenmorangie, with perhaps a touch of Oban. The bittersweet balance is pleasing but could use a touch more substance. The initial surge of sweetness is very nice, though.

@chrisrbarrett

Colour is very light, but somewhat bright yellow. Nose is all alcohol. First flavour is a touch of spicy but becomes quite rough and mineral-y at the back of the throat.

@WhiskyApostle

Very light in color. There are hints of peat and brine on the nose although I’m not sure if this is actually a peated whisky. The palate is light but complex with only traces of peat. It is triple distilled which gives it a very clean feel and a smooth finish.

I'm not a huge fan of Dalwhinnie. It just does not deliver enough flavor for me. It's one of those whiskies where descriptors like "delicate" and "subtle" are code for "tasteless" and "bland". Granted, I haven't had Dalwhinnie is several years. I have a more refined palate now. But, I would choose Hazelburn over Dalwhinnie based on my memory. There is a little more richness and complexity to it.

This sounds really smooth - how does it compare to something like a Dalwhinnie?

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