Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Kilkerran 8 Cask Strength, Hazelburn 13 Oloroso & Springbank 21 Reviews

Hi everyone,

I’ve got some new stuff from those dapper fellows at Springbank. They seem to be doing a lot recently with Hazelburn, Springbank, Longrow, kilkerran and a string of releases from Cadenhead’s for their 175th Anniversary.

Needless to say, whisky fans are lapping it up. Mainly because the stuff these guys are releasing is good quality, age stated and reasonably priced. Thank god there’s at least one company left doing us proud.

So, what have they been doing recently? Other than depleting my bank account…
Well, they changed the Springbank packaging slightly (I still can’t decide what I think about them) and now they’ve released a Hazelburn from Sherry casks and an age stated Kilkerran at cask strength. And to top that a new release of their 21yo Springbank.

I got to try all of these at Bristol Whisky Lounge. Many thanks to Grant for the tasters of the Hazelburn and Kilkerran and to Mike for sharing his Springbank 21.

Hazelburn 13 Oloroso 47.1%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Strawberry! Fresh, raspberry sponge cake, quite a bit of oak, soft, mellow and some classic funk.
Taste: Soft, fresh, strawberry and raspberry, again quite a bit of oak, lovely oily mouthfeel, classy salt and some Kilkerran-esque black pepper.
Finish: Medium length. A burst of strawberry, coffee and black pepper and candy floss. Really complex finish.
Cask strength. 2017 release. This is seriously delicious, supremely drinkable whisky.
79/100

Kilkerran 8 Cask Strength 56.2%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Really interesting complex spices. Old school, ash, singed paper, old spice jar that been used for a load of different spices over the years, nutmeg and ginger stand out in particular. Also, slightly floral and white chocolate.
Taste: Soft, spicy, white pepper, then a lovely swell of white peach, lots of salt, then black pepper, that singed paper thing, ash and oak. Great oily mouthfeel too.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Burst of old school ash and complex spices. Lovely.
Bottled 2017. As with the 12, this reminds me of all the great bits of some classic whiskies like Springbank, Talisker and Clynelish. Trumps the 12 though.
79/100

Springbank 21 2017 Release 46%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Hmmmmm, a little sharp alcohol. But under that it's fruity with honey and black pepper.
Taste: Lovely long arrival and development with spice, complex oak and amazing honey notes.
Finish: Long length. A tropical burst then some oak comes through again.
Didn’t get long with this. Surprised by the sharp nose, but an improvement on the last batch I tasted on a tasting back in 2015.
81/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #348-#350
Whisky Network Review #391-#393

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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