More this month from the powerhouse that is the Springbank Distillery. This time, let’s try their lighter side – a triple distilled, bourbon matured, smooth and light whisky – The Hazelburn 10 year old. Distilled three times to ensure a light, fruity and flowery malt that is the hallmark of the Hazelburn brand.

The Springbank Distillery is not only the oldest family owned distillery in Scotland, it also produces 3 distinct brands of whisky – Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn. Last month we tried their lightly peated and 2.8 times distilled brand, the Springbank 15 year old and this month for our members we have our hands on one of their non-peated brand, The Hazelburn and specifically, the Hazelburn 10 year old. A mighty fine drop of triple distilled single malt whisky – which is unusual for Scottish whiskies which are normally double distilled. Enjoy!

A cacophony of light, fruity flavours. On their own, each flavour is quite mild but the combination of light florals, apples and pears makes for a big flavour profile. The triple distillation makes for a brilliantly smooth whisky (as you’d expect).

Nose: Apples, pears, fresh cut grass and floral notes with a top layer of peppermint lollies.

Palate: Apple pie, vanilla, honey and liquorice humbugs. Lovely light-oil mouthfeel.

Finish: Lovely and sweet. Subtle spices (taste not spiceyness) and vanilla. Smooth, fruity and utterly chewable!

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Hazelburn 10 year old – DISTILLERS NOTES

ABV: 46%
Bottle Size: 700ml
Region: Scotland – Campbeltown
Peated: No
Chill Filtered : No

Distilled using malt that is air-dried only, our Hazelburn 10 year old is refreshing and zesty with a chewy finish.

Rich in flavour, our Hazelburn 10-year-old is awash with scents and flavours that will delight.

Nose: Stewed pears and baked apples are followed by honeycomb and fudge notes.

Palate: A lovely and rich whisky with vanilla and honey flavours, liquorice follows with a refreshing zestiness.

Finish: A refined milk chocolate cream finish that is oily and chewy.

Hazelburn 10 year old

ABOUT THE DISTILLERY

We looked into the history of the Springbank Distillery last month, so rather than rehash that, let’s look into how Springbank saved the Campbletown region from being de-listed as an ‘official’ whisky region.

At the peak of Campbeltown’s fame, in 1851, the region was home to 29 legal distilleries plus at least 50 (and probably many more) illicit distilleries. In fact, it was the most productive whisky region in Scotland. Today, sadly, only 3 operating distilleries remain in Campbeltown – Glen Scotia, Springbank and Glengyle distileries.

The reasons for this massive decline in numbers are many-fold. The closure of a major blending company (Pattison’s of Leith) could be said to have been instrumental in the start of the decline in Campbeltown’s whisky industry. The closure of Pattison’s and subsequent defaulting of it’s loans caused 10 other distilleries to declare bankruptcy. Suddenly investor confidence in the Campbeltown industry crashed. On top of this, an enormous surplus of Campbeltown whisky caused prices to plummet. Shortly after this WW1 began causing huge disruptions in international markets as well as issues in supply of barley. The US prohibition and UK temperance movement further strangled the life out of Campbeltown. On top of all this, a few substandard casks filled with poor quality spirit made it’s way to a blender and the reputation of Campbeltown was irrevocably tarnished just as the Speyside region was becoming a force to be reckoned with. There was even talk of ex-herring casks being used to age whisky, however it’s believed this is just a rumour started by Speyside distilleries.

Springbank 15 year old
Springbank 15 year old

So, it was a multi-faceted ‘perfect storm’ of factors all combined to leave the Campbeltown whisky industry devastated and by the year 2000, only 2 working distilleries remained. It was around this time the Scotch Whisky Association began to seriously discuss ‘declassifying’ Campbeltown as an official whisky region.

Luckily, a proud Hedley Wright – owner of Springbank Distillery (and great-grand son of from the original owner) – acquired and began restoration of Glengyle. By 2004 it began production. This bought the number of Campbeltown’s working distilleries back up to three (equal that of the Lowland region) – thus guaranteeing its status as a separate whisky region.