As this was strictly one per person there aren’t as many open bottles of this out there, so huge thanks to Ronnie for the dram of this to write notes.
Springbank Society April 2018, Hazelburn, 10 years old, Sauternes cask, 53.9% A⊕+
Nose - Fresh and floral, slightly dirty right in the middle of that and also quite ashy. I don't think "unpeated" Hazelburn is very unpeated sometimes! It's a lovely balanced sweetness with the char though, like fresh wet rosemary twigs brushing orange juice and oil on a pork steak. That "empty" grown up waxiness is here too, much more elegant than the previous wine casks. It is such a sweet yet elegant nose.
Body - Deep, slow and gentle, really beautifully judged, this one is obviously better than the recent Springbank and Longrow society bottlings. I must buy a recent bottle of standard Hazelburn while it's briefly in stock, I think it's changed recently. Waxier but sweeter with water, more wood actually, the wine cask is becoming minty.
Finish - Long, woods and pepper, quite bracingly citrussy at the end. Delicious. Shorter with water, more emphasis on lightly waxed cask, but this is a very well balanced thing and the shift is slight.
Just a beautiful drink, the kind of effortless release that makes this single distillery the best in the world.
Last year was the year of Longrow for me, is this year the year for Hazelburn?