I've been looking to try this whisky for a while. Between the decent but not fantastic CV expression and delicious cask-strength Hazelburn 8 YO Bourbon Cask I tried a few months ago along with the 8 year old Sauternes Cask and 12 year old versions that I have sitting unopened in my liquor cabinet, I was really interested to see what this whisky would be like. Once again, I trekked down to the Highland Stillhouse for a drink.
Hazelburn is Springbank's newest single malt - production began in 1997 with bottling of the 8 year old beginning in 2005. It is made from unpeated malt which is then triple distilled. This production process means that it shares much in common with other triple-distilled whiskies from the Scottish Lowlands and Irish pot still whiskeys. The 8 year old expression is made up of a 60/40 split of bourbon cask and sherry cask whiskies, which are vatted before dilution and bottling at 46% ABV.
Hazelburn 8 Year Old
Nose: vanilla candy, underlying sherry, nougat, salted caramels. After adding a few drops of water, the nose became creamier with more vanilla.
Taste: wood sugar and vanilla up front, bittersweet sherry emerges mid-palate and continues through to the back, then malt, light pepper, and bitter oak. After dilution, the pepper becomes more expansive.
Finish: bitter wood and sherry, with pepper and cinnamon/allspice after dilution.
Michael Kravitz's review.
The 8 year old expression of Hazelburn is shamefully overpriced in the States, but you can pick it up from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange for a little over $50 with shipping. At that point I would say that it's a much more reasonable choice if you want something that's lighter without being boring.