Hazelburn is usually a challenge for me.
It’s triple distilled and there’s this musty note triple distillation imparts the doesn’t sit well with me. However, many times sherry or peat are enough to cover it up, and besides it’s a Springbank.
This 13 year old is matured in Oloroso sherry casks, and the combination of the triple distilled unpeated spirit with the sherry casks actually worked for me.
Hazelburn 2003, 13 Year Old, Oloroso Cask Matured, Distilled November 2003, Bottled March 2017, 12,000 Bottles (47.1% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Amber, thin and almost evenly spaced legs off a sturdy necklace.
Nose: Sweet nose, with grape juice from white grapes, dried fruit – specifically dried cherries, dried peaches and raisins, gummy bears, a hint of black pepper, hint of balsamic vinegar, and a hint of vanilla, most suggestive of American oak casks (but this was not mentioned). After some time, there’s also a sour note as well a some cereal (Weetabix, actually).
Palate: Dry, with sultanas and a hint of dried banana chips and yellow plums, orange peel, and some honey sweetness.
Linger: Peppery and slightly sour, with a dryness in the mouth and a spicy ring around the gullet. For a long time there’s a milk chocolate linger (If you know the Milka milk chocolate, it’s really close).
If you’re looking for a sherry bomb, this is definitely not it. The Oloroso sherry here is relatively subtle and is almost suggestive of a rum finish (call me crazy, if you must). Hazelburn has never been my favorite form of Springbank, and it remains to. I will say that the sherry did mask the triple distilled note that I so dislike, so that’s definitely in this dram’s favor.