Hazelburn 8 Year – Wood Expressions Series


Hazelburn 8 Year Taste Profile

Stats – 55.9% alcohol, aged 5 years in refill Bourbon casks and an additional 3 in Sauternes casks, Campbeltown
Price – $70
Color – Very deep chestnut
Nose – Rum raisin ice cream, figs, and dates
Palate – One of the three pillars of Campbeltown stalwart distillery Springbank. Undilluted, this beauty has tons of mouthfeel and blooms while resting on the tongue. Slick and oily with some prickle from the near 56% alcohol content, it still manages to be very sweet and nutty. You certainly get the presence of both the bourbon cask as well as the Sauternes. The finish is rich with maple sugar and sweet wine. A hint of dry tannins deep in the finish ready the palate for another sip. Those familiar with Springbank will recognize the diesel quality that shows up here as well. Adding water really opens up the nuttiness, brings in some citrus zest, and lightens the impact and richness. This is a fantastic whisky, yet somehow my taste buds were yearning for more fruit and peat. Don’t miss this fantastic addition to the Wood Expressions Series!

Hazelburn 8 Year Tastes Like:

  1. Talisker 57° North (90%)
  2. Glenmorangie Lasanta (87%)
  3. Bruichladdich 16 Year – Chateau Margaux (83%)

 


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Black Canyon Corn Whiskey


Black Canyon Corn Whiskey Taste ProfileStats – Sour mash corn whiskey, Longmont, CO
Price – $30
Color – Straw
Nose – Sweet and floral
Palate – Another of Colorado’s expanding collection of distilleries, Black Canyon is spice forward with hints of anise and clove. While a sour mash corn whiskey, it has some flavors reminiscent of rye, but still remains sweet as you would expect. It’s also grassy and slightly rich. The spice heats up again at the finish, but it is lighter to the touch. This is a very drinkable whiskey, which makes it a great session whiskey. Not bad for those trying to track down some of The Centennial State’s unsung whiskeys.

Black Canyon Corn Whiskey Tastes Like:

  1. Teeling – Small Batch (92%)
  2. Bowman Brothers – Small Batch (89%)
  3. Templeton Rye (87%)

 


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Dalmore 15 Year


Dalmore 15 Year Taste ProfileStats – 40% alcohol, aged for the last three years in three types of sherry casks, Highland
Price – $90
Color – Copper
Nose – Wine, chocolate and maraschino cherries
Palate – Not content with just finishing this whisky in sherry casks, Dalmore decided to age the 15 year old in three different types of sherry casks (Matusalem, Amoroso, and Apostoles) to try to turn the fortified wine quality up to 11. Dry, a little salty and yeasty bread rise to the front. Some dried fruit lingers as well. Like a buttered scone with jam, or bitter orange marmalade on toast. That bitterness picks up just before the finish. It’s also bright like key-lime zest. Dry oak and tobacco round out the tail-end with a touch of star anise and clove. Less spicy and slightly less sweet than the 12 year, but the 15 has more wine character, which remains clean and fresh more than dusty or heady.

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The Dalmore 15 Year Tastes Like:

  1. Knob Creek 9 Year (90%)
  2. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve (89%)
  3. Russel’s Reserve – Single Barrel (89%)

 


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Dalmore 12 Year


Dalmore 12 Year Taste ProfileStats – 40% alcohol, aged in ex-bourbon and olorosso sherry barrels, Highland
Price – $55
Color – Amber and copper
Nose – Wood, leather and rich caramel
Palate – Impressionist painter Henri Matisse aimed to achieve above all else an “art of balance.” Achieving balance requires a practiced hand with nuance and experience. In whisky it is the same thing, striking a well-balanced drink requires just the right amount of sweetness to be matched by spice and just a hint of bitterness. The folks a Dalmore do a fine job trying to achieve that balance. Sweetness rolls in gently with tastes of caramel corn and bitter dark chocolate. Dry oak and musty leather follow into the mid-palate and linger softly into the finish. Oily nuts and dried maraschino cherries combine in a flavor reminiscent of fruit-cake to round out the profile. Nearly cloying in its sweetness, this is balanced well by hints of bitterness and bright citrus flavors. The Dalmore 12 Year is also spicy (as if Scotland started making high-rye bourbon), with dry cinnamon and allspice. Lots of deep and intriguing character for a whisky that’s only 80-proof. Pick some up online at Binny’s or BevMo.

Dalmore 12 Year tastes like:

  1. High West – American Prairie Reserve (91%)
  2. Hudson Manhattan Rye (91%)
  3. Elmer T. Lee (90%)

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Old Ballantruan – The Peated Malt


Old Ballantruan - The Peated Malt Taste ProfileStats – 50% alcohol, distilled at Tomintoul, Speyside
Price – $55
Color – Amber
Nose – Rich warm peat with wet campfire and charcoal
Palate – Some argue that you’ve got to take the bad with the good, that the duality of the universe requires this balance with equal parts yin to equal parts yang. For peated whisky lovers this often meant taking the heavy iodine, or “band-aid”, flavor with the deep earthy smoke. Since most peated whisky hails from the small island of Islay, it is hard to avoid the coastal notes from infusing with the whisky, after all, we are a product of our environment. But move the process to another whisky producing region and maybe you can have your cake and eat it too. Old Ballantruan is made at the Tomintoul distillery in the Speyside region. It’s ashy and rich, the peat smoke doesn’t leap out but rather smolders throughout. It’s sweet and honeyed with buttery toffey, and then the earthy and sooty quality takes over. The finish is tangy and a tad bitter, but remains pleasant and smooth. There is also a minty freshness in the backdrop of this whisky. As expected, this one chisels out the sea-side iodine flavor, but keeps the meaty and smoky facets we love. We’ll leave settling the resulting karmic debt of taking too much yin between you and the universe.

Old Ballantuan – The Peated Malt Tastes Like:

  1. Yoichi 12 Year (95%)
  2. Kilchoman – Machir Bay (86%)
  3. Ardbeg Uigeadail (84%)

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