When the Hazelwood series first came out, I couldn’t help but be struck by the rather attractive packaging and decidedly art deco style. A little pricey for a 500 ml bottle, I passed it up a few times at duty free.
From William Grant & Sons, the Hazelwood blended whisky series was created to honour William Grant’s granddaughter Janet Sheed Roberts, after her Hazelwood house, full of art deco items, near their Glenfiddich distillery.
Each in the trio is dedicated to a city from the 1920s:
- Hazelwood 18 year for Paris
- Hazelwood 21 year for Bombay
- Hazelwood 25 year for Shanghai
Fittingly, one fine evening in Mumbai, we polished off the last of the Hazelwood 21 year, in honour of a French friend leaving our fair land for other shores…
Hazelwood 21 year 40%
- Nose – Mix of slight tobacco smoke, sweet, vanilla, apple crumble, cinnamon, fruits, berries with an overall sense of freshness
- Palate – Smooth, soft and accessible, honey, sweet spices
- Finish – Just a honey sweetness that slipped away relatively early
Overall it is exceedingly easy to drink. Jokingly it was described as quite a ‘homely’ whisky. One could even say ‘charming’. There is a danger in attributing gender to a whisky, but this one certainly seems to be trying to appeal to women.
Here is what they have to say:
House of Hazelwood 21 Year Old is inspired by the sultry beauty of Mumbai in the 1920s.
This release represents a bolder, somewhat spicier and more robust whisky balanced to perfection by the ageing of some of its malts for 21 years in sherry casks made of European oak.
- NOSE: Dried fruits and spice dominate, alongside a sticky sweetness reminiscent of rich fruit cake. A splash of water alters the balance and adds complexity with a subtle hint of tobacco leaf.
- TASTE: Cinnamon, cloves and woody spice, with a dry finish. Water accentuates the sherry cask influence, bringing out the sweet oiliness of treacle, dates and polished leather.
- FINISH: Spice, Molasses, and Resin.
I can’t say that I agree with the “bold” part at all! Or many of the other elements that just didn’t jive with our experience. However in fairness, we sampled from a bottle that was already open so one never knows… it could have been at one time?
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