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Hazelburn CV

Springbank Lite?

0 686

@talexanderReview by @talexander

23rd Mar 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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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.

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systemdown commented

Nice review, I've only recently had my first tastes of Campbeltown and I'm really enjoying the character of the whiskies, so much different to the other Scotch whisky regions.

AFAIK there are two active distilleries in Campbeltown being Springbank as you mention and Glengyle who make the Kilkerran malt (early days yet). Glen Scotia I believe are not currently active or at least have not been actively distilling spirit for the last several years (although I hear rumours of sporadic distillation runs in recent times by Springbank staff) but are still releasing bottles of their 12 year old. Independent bottlers have been releasing the vast majority of Glen Scotia malt that can be found presently.

I'm really keen to get a hold of Springbank 10, 18 and a couple of vintages in between plus Longrow CV which I tasted recently and thought was fantastic! Can see myself tracking down some exotic Glen Scotias in the not too distant future; such unforgettably unique malt that demands so much patience to fully experience and appreciate.

P.S. hope the date went well ;-)

8 years ago 0

michaelschout commented

Would you say it's worth the $83 or is there another campbeltown that you think is more befitting the high lcbo prices for campbeltown scotches?

8 years ago 0

talexander commented

@michaelschout - not sure it is worth the $83. The Springbank 10 and 12 Year Old Cask Strength (if you can find them) are definitely worth their prices. But they are a little bit too in-your-face, then the Hazelburn might be the right one for you and therefore worth the money.

@systemdown - thank you for clarifying my notes on the number of distilleries in Campbletown. And the date? Well, I was still on it until about midnight the following night so I'd say it went pretty well!

8 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

Hi, I have been drinking both Hazelburn CV and Springbank 10 y lately and, for me, the Cambelton difference is in the sugar and the herbs. The sugar is like the one in a pecan pie without the corn but add some wood to it and the herbs... I read that for some it is oregano, and again for me it´s not enough woody. I would go for chervil, at least in the Hazelburn. I have to say that my Sprinkbang has a herb rotten nose that is fading away slowly. But still, I can taste the nice sugar and I could guess what a good bottle of Springbank should taste. Let me tell you, I so see the potential and I find it so unique that I look forward to buy an other one. I expect the herb to be between basilic and seaweed. As for the salt, you do?t always taste it but you know it is there in the balance you have. So, coming back to the Hazelburn, I am glad that you rate it in the mid 80's because I find it underrated by many and I would like to say that it is more complex that what you usually read, but it is true that the compllexity is not coming from the fruits and the spices but more from the herbs, the sugar and the wood. So maybe it is why we find Cambleton so different!

6 years ago 0

talexander commented

Yes, @Robert99, I wholeheartedly agree. There really is nothing else like the three whiskies from Springbank! If you ever get a chance, I strongly recommend you visit the distillery - it is an incredible time machine where you can see whisky being made the way it was made fifty or more years ago. And the town of Campbeltown is beautiful and charming. Cadenhead's whisky shop is a must-see.

6 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

Good Idea @talexander! Now I have to sale it to my Lady...OMG...

6 years ago 0

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