Springbank & Hazelburn Distillery Exclusives 2021


Next up is a pair of hand filled distillery exclusives from Springbank. We haven't made the trek to Campbeltown yet this year, but we were fortunate to be able to try these at The Athletic Arms in Edinburgh, and thus the price listed is how much we paid per dram. 

Hazelburn Distillery Exclusive 57.3%

Hazelburn Distillery Exclusive 57.3%

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 57.3%

Price: £6 per dram

We’ve been told these bottles are from Springbank’s living casks. The idea behind these is you keep topping the cask up with fresh whisky. Hence the lack of cask type and age. Anyway let’s try the whisky.

Nose

On the nose there’s yeast, apple peel, sea salt, light toffee, a light dunnage warehouse funk, and malt. It’s a light nose with very little cask influence, and very spirit forward.

Palate

Palate has pear, white pepper, crusty bread, old worn oak, lemon peel, and some melon too. Still very little cask influence with the spirit lingering on for a medium to long finish.

Nose (with water)

With water there’s some eucalyptus, washed up leaves, a little dirt, and a prominent sweet new make spirit note.

Palate (with water)

There’s sweet vanilla syrup, and more pepper spice. With water the fruit notes have disappeared, instead replaced by an overriding sweeter note. This is a little thin with water.

Conclusion

There’s no way of knowing the age of the bottle but we’re guessing it’s quite young. There’s a bit too much raw, young spirit taste, and even tho the cask integrates relatively well with the spirit, there’s not enough flavour to make us want to come back.

Score: 7/10

Springbank Distillery Exclusive 56%

Springbank Distillery Exclusive 56%

Region: Cambpeltown

ABV: 56%

Price: £6 per dram

The colour on this one makes us more hopeful that this is a little older and wiser than the Hazelburn.

Nose

Some refined vanilla oakiness, a little nuttiness, good old Campbeltown warehouse funk, and a very savoury note. The nose is quite subdued but very pleasant to just sit with.

Palate

Ok this is clearly a predominantly bourbon casks, there’s the expected vanilla, along with oak, some freshly baked wholemeal bread, hazelnuts and popcorn. It coats the mouth very nicely and the salty/sweet finish lingers on for quite some time.

Nose (with water)

Now we’re getting french cream pastry, some more breadiness, but more along the lines of refined white bread, and of course more of the funky warehouse aromas that we’ve come to love from Springbank.

Palate (with water)

There’s a continuation of quality bourbon cask vanilla flavours accented by some slightly sour lemon, and white chocolate in the background. Slightly more oaky bitterness appearing, but it’s not unpleasant, and the finish feels slightly warmer, but lasts just as long.

Conclusion

This is very reminiscent of Springbank 10, just oopmh’d up 10% ABV which we’re more than happy about. You really can taste the quality of the wood here, and the spirit works perfectly with it.

Score: 8.5/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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