Hazelburn 15 Year Old Sherry Wood 2023


Just one review today, but we’ve been busy travelling to Campbeltown to source today’s bottle, so we hope you won’t be unhappy with the one we picked. 

Hazelburn 15 Year Old Sherry Wood 2023

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 55.8%

Price: £72.00

This release of Hazelburn Sherry Wood, as usual, was matured exclusively in oloroso sherry casks. Similar to the last release, this one was limited to 9,000 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with strawberry jam, melted butter on a croissant, a pleasant freshness, toffee crisp, cranberries, and a general abundance of red fruits. The alcohol is well-balanced, with the only clue to the ABV being a hint of pepper spice. Revisiting it, there’s some toffee brittle, Cadbury Fudge, and caramel. We're not really detecting a huge amount of that Campbeltown funk, but what’s present is certainly enjoyable.

Palate

It's delicious, reminiscent of a melted toffee sundae crossed with a sticky toffee pudding. The mouthfeel has a lovely syrupy texture. Notes of custard and crème anglaise are present. Warming cinnamon and ginger spice appear towards the end of a long finish, but there's plenty of sherry sweetness (it's akin to chewing on Highland toffee) that lingers alongside the spice. If we didn’t already know the composition of this, we’d have guessed that some PX was included in the mix.

Nose (with water)

With a splash of water, we start to notice that Campbeltown funk. The red fruits are less prominent now, but we're getting more caramel, and a note reminiscent of a Crunchie bar. Alongside this, there's a citrus note of lime and a very slight meatiness in the background, similar to Monster Munch beef crisps.

Palate (with water)

When reduced, there is an increased savouriness, with that meatiness appearing on the palate, but overall the profile hasn’t changed much. The mouthfeel may be slightly diminished, yet it still holds up well. There are fewer red fruits, but this is offset by a bit less spice. Personally, we'd skip adding water as we prefer the less savoury, pre-diluted palate, but others may disagree.

Conclusion

This reminds us a lot of the 12-year-old Sherry Wood release from earlier in the year, albeit a touch more refined. Like the last release, its only shortcoming is being slightly one-dimensional. However, there's nothing inherently wrong with that; sometimes, that's exactly what we want. Our last bottle of Sherry Wood is long gone, which is why we bought two of this release. Hopefully, these will last us until the next one. For us, this is an 8, pushing an 8.5, and just edges out the last release.

Score: 8/10

Value

Priced at £72, it's an absolute bargain. While we don't advocate buying bottles at auction, we must admit this is definitely worth more than its recommended retail price (RRP).

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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