The Hazelburn 8 is all the glory of your fruit orchard come together in a dram. There is everything to love about the natural sweetness of its overall flavours. Nothing syrupy or treacly about this one.
Oranges, juicy apples and berries hold up the nose, along with a grassy air and some vanilla beans. The nose on this is refreshing yet playful – like a childhood vacation.
The palate of the 8 is down to earth and grainy, with a steadiness that is not overwhelmed by the sweetness. It is cut through by a refreshing top that brings the palate to life.
Its slightly spicy finish is smooth and fades off cleanly, but just fast enough for you to want the next sip.
It took a while to realise why the Hazelburn 8 is paired with the Auchentoshan 12 at our seating. But just a short while. These two are soul mates!
The 12 is all that the Hazelburn is, but with more restraint.
The fruity nose is clearly on the 12, but with a mannerism more reticent. More prominent are the fresh notes of toned down vanilla and nice spice. Elsewhere, this would have been aggressive nasal behaviour, but seated next to the Hazelburn 8, this Auchentoshan is the teacher’s pet.
It is less shy on the palate. The fruity flavours are more refreshing here but they nonetheless stand up to the more disruptive spice notes, helped along by a lightly flavoured nectar.
The finish is not gentle, more like a tight hug. Fairly lengthy, with some lingering spice and fruits.