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When I was in Chicago a while back I picked up the Springbank Trio of CV’s. Basically, this was three bottles of 200mL each of Springbank CV, Longrow CV, and Hazleburn CV. Here is my impression of the Hazelburn
Nose: Very hot on the front end. Lemongrass dominates the fore. Hay, pine resin, along with astringent antiseptic. Nice and clean with barest hint of peat in the background; elusive and evocative. Now, even more grassy with a bit of wet hay.
Taste: Honey and lemongrass fight with salt and violets swirling around lemon peel.
Finish: Grassy with some perfume notes and a hint of lemon peel at the end. Medium short
Balance, Complexity: All in all I would say that this is a very balanced single malt. The lemon and grass really seem to be the main forces at work. There is also some acid or astringency that causes everything to pop and seem really bright. It tastes like watching a movie with a yellow tint. I’ll give it a few points for balance but not as much for complexity.
Aesthetic experience: Light gold. Light bodied but strong on the alcohol side. Maybe this would be better down a notch? Like 43%? Either way, I like this for a non peaty beverage. Love the Cambeltown thing (non-chill filtered, no coloring, high ABV).
Conclusion: Hazelburn is not my cup of tea. As with Ardbeg's Blasda and un-peated Caol Ila . . . it is an interesting peek at a distillery for people who hate peat. For people like me this makes as much sense and decaffeinated coffee. For those of you who hate peat but would like to try Cambeltown give this one a try. I won’t re-buy.