Hazelburn 12 year 46%

My astute whisky sampling companion in Singapore selected the Hazelburn 12 year at Quaich bar. Thank goodness as our first sample – the Glengassaugh Torfa – simply wasn’t to our taste!
Hazelburn 12 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 12 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 12 year
  • Nose – Clear sherry element with caramel, fruit – particularly plums. A hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and then dried fruits. Quite peaceful… with wet moss, a drizzle of rain… After sampling and more time to breathe, the nose gained even more sugar until it became almost too sweet like sugary orange marmalade
  • Palate – Well-structured, balanced, smooth, spice with a very pleasant curl of smoke, not ‘chewy’ but has some substance with darker elements – roasted coffee and chocolate?
  •  Finish –  Some warm spice, licorice, sweet…
  • Overall – Simply delicious, complex, lots of sherry yet still well-balanced

The Hazelburn is triple distilled, non-chill filtered with no caramel added.

Without a doubt, both my fellow Whisky Lady in Singapore and I put this in our ‘Would buy‘ category… Satisfying in every way and enough to make me regret passing up buying a 1st release Hazelburn 8 year from earlier in the week.

While most would already be aware, the Hazelburn distillery in Campletown was technically in operation only from 1825 and 1925, when it was bought by Springbank distilleries and shut down. Which means this whisky is produced in honour of Hazelburn rather than actually from the original distillery.

Springbank produces three distinct whiskies:
  • The Hazelburn’s you find today are part of their un-peated line
  • They use the Longrow brand for their peated line and
  • Their most popular Springbank standard can most readily found in their 10 year vintage

So far, I’ve overall enjoyed all three ranges from Springbank and look forward to seeing what will emerge with 18 years maturity – for many Scottish whiskies this seems to be their most interesting age.

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La Maison du Whisky, Singapore

Most trips to Singapore with a bit of time include a stop at La Maison du Whisky for an enjoyable hour spent chatting, sampling and slowly deciding which whisky will make the final ‘cut’ for the journey home to Mumbai.

This June 2015 trip was no exception.

La Maison du Whisky, Singapore (Whisky Lady)

La Maison du Whisky, Singapore (Whisky Lady)

Over the years, the gents there have gained a sense of what we enjoy, what will peak our interest and also what we’ve managed to acquire by other means.

  • Last trip, I showed a spreadsheet tracking our tasting sessions
  • This trip, I could happily show this blog record of our sampling adventures

I’ve shared before how much I appreciate a chance to discover, discuss, sniff and sip before making a final purchasing choice. I prefer to take my time, so deliberately pop by late afternoon when there is more ‘trade traffic’ than ‘customer traffic.’ After all, it isn’t such a bad place to hang around and invariably those that do wander in will lead to an interesting conversational turn or two about a shared passion – whisky and fine spirits.

Our goal this time was:

  • Something that cannot be so easily obtained in London far cheaper… given that I would shortly be traveling there
  • No repeats of previous whiskies
  • At least one in the more mature and complex range
  • As always, an unpredictable ‘twist’ is appreciated

I shared how we enjoyed the Ledaig from an earlier trip and confessed we hadn’t yet opened the one selected late 2014 as it was trumped by my Japanese quartet from Tokyo.

Diego started with a rum, just because he recalled that the Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva Extra Anejo tequila was such a hit!

Clarin Vaval 52.5% – Small batch Haiti clear rum from Cavallon village, double distilled from ‘Madame Meuze’ cane sugar in 2013. It was a delightful discovery with overripe fruit, hot, tropical and distinctly different. It was like sunshine in a bottle.

Clarin Vaval (Whisky Lady)

Clarin Vaval (Whisky Lady)

We then moved on to two Compass Box whiskies:

Glasgow Blend (Whisky Lady)

Glasgow Blend (Whisky Lady)

We discussed several other whiskies – including suggestions for my London ‘wish list’. I was sorely tempted by this Hazelburn 8 year 1st bottling…

Hazelburn 8 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 8 yr (Whisky Lady)

In addition to the whiskies sampled, I’ll admit to sniffing more before finalising my selection for this trip…

What did I pick?

It was the Bunnahabhain 26 years.. part of a special Signatory Session held in February 2016:

Previous reviews sourced via La Maison du Whisky Singapore:

La Maison du Whisky is located at 80 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-10 The Pier, Singapore
 Tel: 6733 0059