What we’re ingesting: A wide range of uncommon Scotch from Home of Hazelwood, a new-ish luxurious whisky model that claims to have “the best stock of aged Scotch whisky held anyplace on the earth”
The place they’re from: These blended Scotch whiskies hail from the non-public assortment of the Gordon household — aka the household behind William Grant & Sons (Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, and so forth.)
Why we’re ingesting these: “It’s exhausting to think about one other whisky firm making a whisky like this,” says Jonathan Gibson, the advertising and marketing director for Home of Hazelwood. “We’re doing issues with a mixture of age and innovation that’s actually uncommon. And that’s as a result of there’s no board or shareholders saying, ‘You shouldn’t do that.’”
These are some daring claims, however Home of Hazelwood (named after the Gordon household’s Dufftown dwelling), which launched within the UK final yr and in america extra not too long ago, has the whisky stock to again that up. These bottles are crafted from a personal assortment that’s been constructed up for greater than a century, with many of the inventory coming from the Nineteen Fifties onward.
“The toughest factor was to kind the stock,” Gibson admits. “It was constructed up by completely different people over time, some from the household’s personal distilleries, a few of it traded inventory. Getting a construction round it was difficult. However total, this can be a household that has entry to extra and a greater normal of Scotch than most different individuals. It’s a really broad and deep assortment, and experimental, too.”
And it’s probably not about single malts right here — these are blends. “Previous blends I discover drinkable,” Gibson says. “Previous single malts are compelling however not all the time quaffable. With these previous blends, you’re getting the sweetness of the grain but additionally the malt traits shining via.”
Whereas you should buy bottles individually, Gibson says most prospects up to now have purchased these four-figure uncommon expressions as a part of a set. We had been despatched samples from each the Legacy Assortment (barely youthful for whisky lovers) and the Charles Gordon Assortment (older and geared towards collectors).
How they style: Every launch has a reasonably detailed description of age, cask maturation, area and extra (if not all the time the precise distillery, relying on long-held household agreements — although you possibly can most likely determine some out primarily based on the included histories).
A couple of that stood out to us on first sampling:
- A Singular Mix: The uncommon mix from the identical distillery. “They made each malt and grain there within the Nineteen Sixties,” Gibson says. “There have been possibly 5 to 10 distilleries which have ever executed that.” Matured for 58 years in American oak, you’ll discover quite a lot of butterscotch, tobacco, leather-based and darkish fruit right here. It’s candy, bitter and complicated.
- The Subsequent Chapter: Distilled in 1972 and initially aged in a mixture of European and American oak, this mix then had a secondary, 15-year ending interval in ex-bourbon barrels. An uncommon journey for a 50-year whisky, this one is sort of vibrant and dominated by notes of orange, toffee and citrus.
- A Path of Smoke: Delicately peated and 42 years matured, this island (and never solely Islay) journey into smoke is definitely quite juicy, fruity and virtually nuanced, with the smoke current however type of lingering within the background. There’s a little bit of salinity on the end, however in any other case that is an sudden and distinctive tackle peated Scotch.
- The Lowlander: Aged 36 years, this one spotlights the often-overlooked Lowland distilleries. It’s brilliant (with a touch of salinity), a bit grassy and candy.
- A Breath of Contemporary Air: A 37-year-old blended grain whisky that’s spicy but additionally fairly candy, with hints of burnt caramel and even some menthol.
Enjoyable truth: If you need early entry to bottles, you would possibly wish to join on-line to turn out to be a Hazelwood Keyholder, which guarantees “members-only releases, invites to non-public occasions and preferential entry to new releases.”
The place to purchase: Just a few hundred bottles of every expression are ever launched. Every one arrives in a present field and inside an individually-numbered decanter. Count on to pay mid-to-high 4 figures for every particular person launch, which (no less than right here) is finest ordered immediately from Home of Hazelwood. A brand new assortment ought to be out later this yr.
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