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Tasting Notes: Springbank: Hazleburn: 15 Year Oloroso Sherry

By Alcoholandaphorisms
Tasting Notes: Springbank: Hazleburn: 15 Year Oloroso Sherry

Springbank: Hazleburn: 15 Year Oloroso Sherry (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 15 Year: 55.8% ABV)

Visual: Quite deep bronzed gold color with medium speed thick streaks from the spirit.

Nose: Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. Thick . Sherry cream. Vanilla. Cinder toffee. Plums. Sherry cream. Time adds nutmeg and lots of pepper. Water adds tannin notes.

Body: Sulphur. Tarry. Sultanas. Plums. Brown sugar to burnt sugar. Time brings out more sultanas. Water makes slight tannins.

Finish: Lightly acrid. Sulphurous. Black liquorice. Lightly minty. Times adds more dark fruit but very sulphurous. Water adds rum. Peppery. Sour cream. Warming chilli seeds.

Conclusion: Ok, this is the first fail of the Uber whisky tasting. After three blinders (The two tasting I put up and Van Winkle 12 I had already done notes on many a year ago) this one did not meet expectations. A pity as the Springbank distillery is hands down one of my favorite in existence.

It starts off well, opens up amazingly on the nose with lots of Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, lots of accompanying spirit cream. It promises a rich dessert adventure.

The body is … fine. A bit sulphury, a bit closed, it manages some tarry and dark fruit notes which are nice, but the closed nature means it seems to lock down the ability to really dig in and get past the sulfur notes.

The finish is freaking terrible. Acrid, sulphur, and harsh. It really doesn’t work.

To try to be fair to it I gave it some time to air and open up, then tinkered with adding a drop of water to see if this could help it open up and become something worth trying. It helped. A little.

There is now more sweetness, a touch more spice. While it helps it is still quite harsh in the finish, so doesn’t fix the real big flaw with this whisky.

If it was a lower price whisky it would be distinctly sub optimal. At the price it goes for, now way.

Background: I freaking love the Springbank distillery in all its range of unpeated to heavy peated expressions. They are just so hard to get at the mo, especially the odder bottlings such as this – one of only 9000 bottles. I had enjoyed the 12 year version of this tried earlier in the year, so had good hopes that the few years would help it pick up from that. Again this was at Independent Spirit‘s Uber Whisky tasting – the fourth dram provided (As mentioned the third was Van Winkle 12 I had done notes on before, but was good to return to). Hazleburn is the unpeated take on the Springbank spirit. Not much else to add, as always at tastings like this my notes may not be up to normal standards but I try my best.

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