Hazelburn 10yo Rundlets & Kilderkins (50.1%): I know that this is not an extremely rare or limited release but finding a bottle that you didn't see on a shelf for a long time at a pretty fair price is quite satisfactory... Especially if you absolutely loved the whisky when you first tasted back then. You all probably know that Hazelburn is distilled in Springbank Distillery but let me give some technical information about Hazelburn and about this limited release: It is the only non-peated brand in Springbank's portfolio and malted barley Hazelburn is distilled from is dried using hot air only for 36 hours. The spirit is triple distilled and collected between 78 - 63% abv with the average strength being 71 - 75% abv and then diluted down to 63.5% abv before being filled into the casks. Regardless of being Springbank, Longrow or Hazelburn all the Rundlets & Kilderkins expressions spent most of their time in not so common small size casks to mature, hence the name. These type of casks are mostly used in beer industry and even though in theory the size of a Rundlet can vary between 3 and 20 gallons and of a Kilderkin between 16 and 18 gallons all the casks used to mature this whisky were 18 gallons in size. So as a result it's fair to say that we can expect a more mature taste than its age suggests and potentially a more texturized whisky. This particular batch contains whiskies distilled in November 2003 and bottled in January 2014. 12,000 bottles got released worldwide.
Color: Yellow gold with persistent legs.
Nose: Unripe bananas, vanilla and honeycomb. Fresh apricots and nectarine slices. Smell of malt grist as it comes fresh out of the mill, gardening soil and bitter greens. Dark chocolate and some seaside spray with faint saltiness. I know I shouldn't be getting any peat on the nose but a few drops of water add some pretty similar qualities: Latex gloves, plastic containers, seaweed and roasted sunflower seeds...
Palate: Peppery with thick warm honey notes. Waxy mouthfeel ... Ground ginger, white pepper, dill with a little bit funkiness and mildew. Black soil, stainless steel lunch boxes and Calvados. Water thins the texture but adds more cask driven notes which were not so pronounced before: Oak staves, toasted wood, cloves and nutmeg.
Finish: Pleasantly long with red pepper flakes, rock salt and toasted sesame seeds.
Overall: Exactly what I was expecting, a young Hazelburn on steroids. While the whisky carries all the familiar Hazelburn notes like bananas, honey wax and vanilla at the background in this special mix all the spice faders are pushed further up. It is an excellent whisky... Its boldness and spiciness and the way it warms your throat suggests to sip it in colder days and I tend to agree with that. At the end it is such an enjoyable and exciting whisky. So glad that I scored a bottle...
|Hazelburn distillation diagram // June 2014
|Springbank Distillery // May 2017