[John first reviewed this whisky in 2011, but we didn’t have an official mini to photograph back then. Now we do, and John wanted to take another shot at it to see how close he could get to his tasting notes from last time. Judge for yourself.]
Phlox growing on rocks. No, that’s not a piece of Dr. Seuss fan fiction, it’s the initial take of the mouth of this fine Campeltown spirit. Perfumy, minerally, salty. Removing a Manolo Blahnik stiletto from a cheese wheel. Banana creamsicle? No, custard. Cashew nuts chewed by goats. Votive candles made from cantaloupes pushed out onto a still, aglae-blanketed pond.
The mouth is a blast of suppressive fire from angry lemons. Behind them creamy, custardy goodness creeps in, like fire-retardant foam sprayed between the interior and the frame of a recreational vehicle. Now that I think of it, this is the whisky equivalent of an Oreo: firm on the outside, smooth on the inside, and complementary through and through. There’s a bit of assertiveness leavened with goodwill and good flavor; there’s bright pepper cracked by the side of a Chef’s knife again an old oak cutting board. Perhaps a tinge of red hot candies that the goat got ahold of before spitting them out in a rage.
The finish is so very tasty. Purple poppy thistles stretched out under the sun. Crinoline from dancing wiccans who eschewed the then-current fashion for farthingales.
The Hazelburn 12 is St. Andre. But with a portmanteau twist. This is actually a St. Andre the Giant triple cream.–I’ll let you work out the details of how that all comes together. For me, I’ll just obey.
–Our thanks to Steve Fox, Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits, and Springbank for the sample!