End of 2018 release, a single cognac butt official release. Darren had split a cage cognac HB he bought after Campbeltown festival 2017 (I think) which was legendary, so much so that I drank my share before I could write notes. You sometimes do see cage previews of official releases as cage bottles at festival I think.
Anyway, this was only ever going to go one way.
Nose - It has that super-ripe-almost-rotten-fruit vs burnt caramel thing first and foremost. An extremely enticing balance on that ethereal fruit and peat Hazelburn - bubble gum, burnt planks and silly putty. It's really fruity.
Body - Cigarette tobacco, strawberry Nesquik, black pepper and whistle pops. That black pepper and lowlander-Campbeltown-peat character work really well to balance out the weird fruit, and as a drink it is absolutely crushable.
Finish - Long and sweetshoppy, bourbon cask candy but there are the echoes of grape. Cigarette tobacco and smoke, duck pancakes and lolly sticks. Punches keep being pulled just before they overwhelm, and the result is very moreish.
I’m just in love with Hazelburn at the moment, I have an open bottle of the 10 year old on my shelf and I turn to it all the time. This one doesn’t disappoint either.