Thursday, December 9, 2021

Hazelburn Oloroso Cask Matured 13 Year Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky

- $100
- 100.6 Proof
- 13 Years
- Campbeltown

This is the next bottle in my foray into Campbeltown Scotches. I've had a Hazelburn before, starting with the 10 Year that tends to be a bit more available. But, when the opportunity came along to grab one of these 13 year Hazelburns finished in Oloroso casks, there was no question I was going to bite. I certainly enjoyed the 10 year, and this seemed like one hell of a step up to continue on with other offerings.

I certainly took my time with this bottle, dipping  back into it for a pour or two maybe once a month, if that. But, over the past week or so, I found myself reaching for this bottle far more frequently. I'm not sure if it's simply due to the fact that I finally got to the halfway point and figured I might as well keep going, or perhaps due to the fact that there was a certain quality about this whiskey that was just hitting right for me. I'm sure it likely was a combination of both.

The Oloroso Sherry casks really took center stage on the nose. I got a ton of rich dark fruit aromas. I was getting rich and jammy blackberry right up front, as well as a bit of tart cherry. I also got a brighter black raspberry and even a fig note. It even had a light tannic note really evoking those wine flavors in the barrel. There was also a sort of brown sugar sweetness, but beyond that, it was all dark fruit notes.

The word "rich" can't be used enough in describing this whiskey. From my very first sip the first notes I wrote were "rich and oily."  That richness came in the form of those same dark fruit notes I was getting on the nose. It was a bit different though. There was a brighter fruit note but with a tart backbone, kind of like cranberry. I even got a bit of a red grape flavor. 

While it had those dark fruits, as well as that tannic wine note I got on the nose, the flavor actually gave way to a much wider array of notes. That dark fruit was layered over lighter but sweet notes of brown sugar and honey. I even got light notes of mint, which was an odd, yet pleasing combination.

That mint seemed to linger on the finish as well, along with a bright, citrusy orange note. The honey sweetness was also present on the finish, making for a great combination of otherwise unexpected flavors. That bright cranberry tartness also seemed to find its way into the finish from time to time.

This Scotch was surprising in that the nose had me expecting something much different than what I got out of the flavor. I thought this was going to be all wine note with some spice, but what I got was far more interesting, complex, and even brighter and lighter. This was a really fun and, more importantly, really tasty Scotch, and it's really no wonder that it went so fast once I got about halfway down.

Grade: B+

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