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So it's Friday after work, and I'm biding time before a late night date tonight (my first since a previous relationship ended in January) - so I'm a little nervous and excited. What's best to alleviate that a little? Why, a wee bit of Campbeltown, of course!
Hazelburn is one of the brands offered by the lone surviving distillery in Campbeltown, J.A. Mitchell (the other two being Sprinbank and Longrow). I've never had a Longrow but Springbank is one of my absolute favourites (based on the 10 year old and the 12 year old cask strength; and I've just purchased the 18 year old). So my expectations were high on this one - too high, I think, as I find I'm a little disappointed by what really is a very nice, refreshing, summery dram, triple distilled and vatted from different aged malts (6 to 10 years old), mostly aged in bourbon casks. I think "CV" means "Chairman's Vat" but if I'm wrong, please correct me.
The colour is a very pale yellow (nothing on the colour scale on this website quite matches it). The nose is very gentle, a little oily, fresh air over grass, fresh baked bread, lemon, some sea breeze in the background. Water brings out malt and hints of vanilla. But you really have to inhale to get it - unlike the burst of it's sister Springbank.
In the mouth, it is rather thin, also oily and citrusy, a bit like a Halls (but in a good way), and herbal (mint and oregano). As with the nose, water brings out the malt but not much else. Love the finish - long, briny, peppery. Very nice finish and nicely balanced.
It is quite different than Springbank - but still shares some characteristics. Kind of like...a Springbank Lite. Doesn't have the full on salt blast, the one that stings your lips - it is more approachable but not quite as exciting.