Thanks to /u/ScotchGuy_TO for pouring me a dram.
Rum Casks. Or as I call them, a trap. Look, you can argue however you like: Rum casks are variable, I’ve had few of them where the rum matured or rum finished just… completely shat the bed. To use the technical term.
Enter Hazelburn 14 Rum Single Cask. Yes, that’s right, Hazelburn, the proverbial “least loved” of the siblings. Not for lack of trying but when your brother/sister are Longrow and Springbank you may as well be fine with being the artist in the family and having your parents being happy with getting C’s on your report cards.
So we have a cask I’m not a huge fan of and probably my second least favourite Campbeltown on the market. Suffice to say it wasn’t my cask, I passed on this, but I’m being told it’s tasty by people who drink more whisky than me. I’m used to being wrong, so why not try it and see if I missed out, shall we?
Price: $169.99 CAD
Distilled: August 2005
Bottled: November 2019
Cask Type: Fresh Rum Barrel
No. of Bottles: 230
Colour: 2.5Y 5/8
Nose: Sourdough, grease, nutmeg, lily pads, fresh peach turnovers
Ok… didn’t expect any of that. There’s this sour yeast note, some of that industrial fun that we love from Campbeltown, spice, some algae… holy shit I’m totally wrong.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Water opens up a ton of fresh peaches and cooked butter.
Taste: Roast corn, oil, sand, peach, grassy, blackstrap molasses
Roasty, industrial, sand… Wow. Are we sure this is actually a Hazelburn? Is there a chance maybe it’s a Springbank? No, I’m just a judgey judge judge? Alright, cool.
Sweet, sharp, and roasty. Maybe a bit less than the nose but still really strong flavours.
Finish: Walnut, cinnamon, changing the oil on your car, algae, smoke
Nutty, cinnamon, and then BAM! Face full of oil. Full on strong industrial overwhelming notes. Think being in a mechanic’s shop or working with your hands for a living with machinery around. That’s what this finishes like. Super oil. So much oil the US is currently invading Campbeltown.
Conclusion: I had low expectations and then had an amazing whisky. What a rough life, eh? Seriously though, this is the dirty, industrial dream of a whisky. It’s roasty, sweet, flavourful, and very, very tasty. Unique flavours abound. Could it be more complex? Yes. At the given age? Probably not.
If anything this is gonna trick me into trying more rum casks. Or Hazelburns. Actually the more I think about it, the more I say it’ll have me trying more Hazelburns than rum casks. But damn this was a great surprise.
Scotch review #1343, Campbeltown review #72, Whisky Network review #2014