Origin: Campbeltown (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd.
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: springbank.scot/
After a while, Hazelburn (Springbank’s line of triple-distilled unpeated whiskies) returns to the blog with a limited edition distributed in 2019 and therefore, to date, unfortunately complicated to find except on the secondary market or in auctions at decidedly significant prices (the one shown here is the cost at the time of release): this is a 14yo distilled in October 2004 and bottled in February 2019 at 49.3% ABV, in its natural colour and without chillfiltration, in 9,900 bottle.
Expectations are high, because Springbank’s whiskies hardly ever disappoint, whether in the main label or in their peated version (Longrow). Here there is only the unknown factor of maturation in former sherry casks of non-trivial length.
Let’s see what the result is like.
The colour is dark amber, almost bronze. And we are off to a good start.
On the nose, the entry is on unmistakable notes of salted caramel, sultanas and figs, which are the most evident contribute of the casks, accompanied by impressions of catalan cream (with that burnt flavour that contaminates the sweetness with a bitter touch), liquorice candies and coffee powder. A sprinkling of white pepper and one of nutmeg, with a hint of aniseed, enrich an olfactory profile whose most original scent is a diffuse scent of woodland, reminiscent of a walk through the trees on a cool spring afternoon.
On the palate, after the lively peppery opening, the welcome is on notes of milk chocolate, salted caramel and powdered coffee, with a quick pass of polished light wood, but by far the most intense aroma, growing as the minutes pass, is of orange zest. As the drinking proceeds, hints of dried fruit, nuts and hazelnuts in particular, emerge, while the medium-long finish is under the banner of a distant sweetness, with subdued incursions of citrus and spices that prolong the pleasure of drinking.
A generous whisky, with a great personality and surprising lunges, resembling an exuberant friend, a cheeky confidante in a loud voice, and confirming from every angle, even in the eyes of the most sceptical, Springbank’s multifaceted magisterium.