Hazelburn is one the three labels that come out of Springbank distillery. This is their non-peated variety, which is also triple distilled, a bit of an oddity in Scotch Whisky and the norm in Irish Whiskey production. It’s also the label I am least well acquainted with.
This particular one is a special release of 10,800 bottles which spent 6 years in first fill bourbon barrels and then a further 3 years in refill Barolo hogsheads. Barolo is an Italian wine known for it’s ability to age well, and I’ve tried several whiskies finished with this (incidentally mostly from Springbank or Glengyle), but none of them from refill casks.
This is however more of a double maturation, with the time in the Barolo casks being relatively long. As far as I understand these casks were used as first fill casks to finish a special release of Springbank, and then used as refill casks here. So the effects are bound to be interesting.
Aged 9 years. 57.9%ABV. Matured in first fill bourbon barrels and then in refill Barolo hogsheads. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.
Nose: Peaches. Leather. Peach cigars (if there even is such a thing). Light floral notes. Candied pear. Wood spice. Sandalwood. Raspberry powder. Orange jam.
Palate: Lots of pepper at first. Mellows down into bitter wood, fruit leather and wood spice. Light leather. A bit of cacao and pina colada. Blueberries. Slight dry wine tannin note.
Finish: Long. Cinnamon. Pepper. Dry fruit peels. Asian pears. Little hints of woody vanilla and sweet fruits from the bourbon casks show through as the finish fades.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
Very interesting dram. It was a little harsh at first, but with some glass time really opens up nicely. Lots of very subtle notes, the Barolo was nowhere near as pronounced as I expected but made its presence known in little flares here and there. A little pricey for what it is, but no regrets from me that I added this one to the cabinet.