Review: Hazelburn 9 Years Old Barolo Cask Matured

Review: Hazelburn 9 Years Old Barolo Cask Matured

Hazelburn is, quite famously, not a distillery but rather a specific style of whisky produced at Campbeltown’s Springbank Distillery. Hazelburn uses air-dried barley (with no peat, unlike Springbank’s other two styles) and is triple distilled, making for a light-as-a-feather spirit when it comes off the still.

This unique version of Hazelburn spends 6 years in bourbon barrels, followed by 3 years of finishing in Barolo wine casks. Distilled in June 2007, with 10,800 bottles produced.

Let’s give it a try.

The wine influence is palpable at full strength. Unadulterated, a rich and earthy character persists on the nose, notes of fresh wood and hazelnuts battling with ample cereal grains and a somewhat rustic, vegetal character.

The palate is a bit rocky undiluted, hot and peppery, with notes of earthy mushrooms, smoked meat, and that tannic, almost bitter, red wine character. Wood is a significant influence here, but ample water helps to soften some of the whisky’s rough edges tempering the beefier notes and letting the fruit of the wine — albeit in the form of well-dried cherries and blackcurrants — show more clearly. Bitter tannins are never far from the palate here, and the finish lingers with the stuff.

All told, it’s quite an unusual and engaging whisky — though I have to think it could have used more time in bourbon casks, and less exposure to the intensity of Barolo.

115.8 proof.


Hazelburn 9 Years Old Barolo Cask Matured




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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