Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Hazelburn 10 Year Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch

VITALS:
- $80
- 92 Proof
- 10 Years
- Campbeltown

I've been dipping my toes back into Scotch quite a bit lately. In fact, it really started when a friend of mine who happens to have a very impressive Scotch selection let me do a tasting of Campbeltown. I had five different Campbeltown single malts that night, and found myself loving every one of them. So, I then found myself perusing the Scotch aisle as well as the bourbon aisle on my trips to the liquor store, just to see what was there that I needed to try.

This 10-year Hazelburn was one such Scotch that I felt I needed to try. I figured I should start with the sort of mainstays, to learn what I like and don't like about the different Campbeltown distilleries, few though they may be. This particular bottle is a triple distilled, unpeated single malt. Though the bottle doesn't indicate as such, my brief research tells me that it's aged in ex-bourbon casks. 

The nose, interestingly, gave of a bit of saltiness. It also had a lot of cracker notes but a bit sweeter. Perhaps more like a shortbread cookie. It had a light grassiness to it, even with a bit of a musty hay smell. On top of all this, though, was a maple frosting note that I really enjoyed. It reminded me of the maple frosted donuts that you can sometimes find.

I found this whisky to be somewhat light in flavor. Perhaps that's why many reference this as a good, entry-level Scotch. There was nothing bold or punchy about it. It did have a good, earthy nuttiness to it, though that I appreciated, along with an almost buttery note to give it some delicate richness, despite it coming across as a bit watery or thin.

I got some sweet and rich notes of brown sugar and caramel as well. When I did my tasting, that was one thing that I appreciated about the Campbeltown Scotches was that they all had a sort of undercurrent of bourbon-like notes, which certainly appealed to my bourbon-loving palate. There were also light, unsweetened vanilla notes and a touch of black pepper on the front end as well. 

The finish, surprisingly, provided for a decent burn that I really enjoyed. It had the spice from the black pepper but almost a bit of a cinnamon heat as well. There was a light salinity to the finish, something I expected more of given that it was one of the first things I noticed when I smelled it. I also got a lingering cookie note, like a butter cookie.  Despite that the finish was fairly short-lived, this butter cookie note did seem to stick behind for a bit, which was alright with me because it was quite enjoyable.

As an entry-level Scotch, particularly as I continue to introduce myself to this region I previously knew very little about, I found this to be quite suiting. The price certainly does not scream entry-level, however, and that's a bit of a barrier to entry. That said, it certainly will be steering me towards more Campbeltown offerings in the very near future.

Grade: B

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