Tasting: Hazelburn 12y

Hazelburn 12 Original BottlingDram data:
Distillery: Springbank (special unpeated triple distillation)
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: about 2014
Age: 12
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 46%
Unchillfiltered, natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The nose is fresh, citrussy, delicate, just as you would expect from a triple distillation, a very rare production process these days. It is, however, only the distillate being light, you can tell it was matured in quality casks adding a nice layer of depth.

Orange juice, orange oil,  caramel sweetness, vanilla, melon, fresh and caramelised ginger, hot chocolate. The palate matches the nose beautifully. A subdued distillery character due to the third distillation run taking away some flavour components nicely balanced with cask influence. Coating the entire mouth, malty, caramel sweet, more citrus fruit notes, black pepper, but a bit high on the alcohol, so let’s add some water. Much better now. More and pronounced malt sweetness, paired with caramel. Assorted spices, pepper, ginger, tangerines (with peel) and the signature saltiness. The finish is oily and round, coating the entire throat, sweet and citrussy (alcohol spiked concentrated orange juice?) with a malty, slightly herbal aftertaste. Medium long.

Yes, this is a triple distilled whisky that works very well because it is matured in quality wood and bottled at 46% without chill filtration. I am stressing this because I have tasted triple distilled drams at 40% ABV and at younger (NAS…) ages from another distillery before and they were by and large just too light to fit my style. Not at all in the case of this Hazelburn from Campbeltown’s independently owned Springbank distillery. It might not be the most complex dram out there, but it is fresh, sweet and engaging. Only 10.000 litres of this type of whisky are produced each year, so it might not be available everywhere, but it is worth looking out for.

Score: 85/100
(Nose: 85 Palate: 85 Finish: 85)

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