In a world that looks very different now than we could ever imagine last year, one of the things we sadly had to miss was the Campbeltown Malts Festival in May. In fact, Springbank and Cadenhead closed their doors and for a few months we actually heard very little from them and nothing was released. Though the gates of the renowned distillery were closed and doors bolted on Scotlands oldest independent whisky bottlers, plans were being hatched to come back. And now they are back and how!

Not only are there various new releases, but there is also a replacement for their open days in the form of a week of virtual open day tastings. Of course not that extensive but every day a different tasting and a corresponding festival bottling.

I myself have a few tasting sessions that I will participate in and to celebrate this week I will be posting a review of each of the festival bottlings every day.

So today, we kick off the week with this Hazelburn 18 year old, which has fully matured in fresh bourbon barrels and is bottled at a strength of 47.4% ABV.

Hazelburn 18 year old tasting notes:

Nose: light and fruity, but so nice. Quite some fresh lemons and apples. A hint of minerals. Chalk. Resin. A farmyard note. And tobacco in the back. Water moves it more towards the citrusy notes.

Taste: pineapples and apples. Vanilla. Unripe pears. A hint of salty caramel. Kiwi. Minerals. A faint farmyard note here as well. Pine needles. Water brings out a sweetness and also lemons.

Finish: short ot mid-long, vanilla, minerals and peppery.

Really good. Not very complex but full of flavour with an unexpected peppery kick at the end, which makes you land back on earth again. The finish is slightly on the short side though. But what a great start of this week and I’m very curious about what will follow! However, after tasting this 18 year old, I kind of regret not participating in the Hazelburn tasting now. 😉