House of Hazelwood: A Singular Blend

In 1963 the Beatles wanted to hold your hand, John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a “hot line” was established between the United States and the Soviet Union, and dr. Martin Luther King spoke the famous words “I have a dream”. But it was also the year a very special dram from the Scottish Highlands. That started its journey of 58 years, to become House of Hazelwood’s “A Singular Blend”.

A Singular Blend is the highlight of House of Hazelwood’s Autumn Collection. With only 74 bottles available worldwide it’s one of the rarest whiskies ever released to the public. The whisky is blended from both grain and malt components, both originating from the same distillery and distilled in the same year: 1963. The release of a single distillery blend that’s been aged for 58 years is unprecedented.

My previous House of Hazelwood review took me on the most emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever experienced from a whisky (or any type of food or drink in general). So, when Katy contacted me if I wanted to do another review, I did not have to think twice. I find myself eager to find out what tales and stories this dram would have in store for me.

But before I start, I’d like to express that I feel absolutely honoured that I get to try a whisky of such provenance. And that I have the highest gratitude for the people at House of Hazelwood who have made this review possible. Thank you for this opportunity and thank you for the wonderful and meaningful contribution your collections make to the world of whisky.

Tasting Notes: House of Hazelwood, A Singular Blend

Stats:

ABV: 42% (84 proof)

Age: 58 years

Bottled by: House of Hazelwood

Collection: The Charles Gordon Collection – Autumn Release

Category: Single Distillery Blended Scotch Whisky

Chill Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Setting:

I have had a wonderful Sunday; the sun was shining so we took the dogs out for a long walk. Right now, I’m enjoying the end of the weekend, I feel relaxed and fully committed to enjoying this whisky in the most optimal way. Drams like these only come by once in a lifetime after all. I have let the dram rest in the glass for roughly half an hour and I poured it neat in a perfect dram glass.

Nose:

The nose is sweet and delicate. There are hints of caramel and cream that give me mouth-watering daydreams of a crossover between panna cotta and crème brûlée. I am also getting hints of sultana’s which in combination with the cream suddenly reminds me of a sultana pudding my mother used to make for us when we were kids. There are also hints of freshly tanned leather, hidden beneath the initial layers of sweet desserts. A drop of water brings the leather more forward and adds an herbal quality vaguely reminiscent of cloves and nutmeg.

Palate:

The palate is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. If you’ve ever visited a candlemaker you might get notes that remind you of hanging above a hot pan filled with beeswax as you’re dipping the rope into it to make the candle. The sweetness from the nose is there, with honey complimenting the waxy note beautifully. But there’s also a savoury note, that reminds me of beef jerky. More specifically peppered beef jerky, as there’s a little black pepper involved as well. A drop of water reveals a citrus note in the dram, specifically lemon. It’s a bonus layer, as the other flavours remain abundantly available.

Finish:

This dram has a wonderful long finish. The pepper fades away as fast as it comes, but the beef jerky note remains. What stays with you the longest though is the waxy mouth feel, the honey is gone which almost makes it feel like I’ve coated my mouth with the beeswax. On the sides of the tongue, you’ll find a little oak bitterness as well. Though I’m getting far less wood influence than you might expect from a 58-year-old whisky. A drop of water makes that little hint of oak bitterness even less noticeable.

Verdict:

This is a gorgeous whisky, and it makes a beautiful love letter to the way whisky used to be enjoyed. After all, back in the day it was blended Scotch that reigned supreme. A Singular Blend is a prime example of how wonderful a blended scotch can be. The flavours are plentiful and bold, and I can’t get enough of it. It did not bring the same emotional rollercoaster like the previous drams I tasted from House of Hazelwood did, but I still found the whisky amazing. The only good advice I can give all of you is that if you ever get a chance to try this whisky, to not let it pass you by!  

Rating:

95/100

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes and how I determine rating and value.

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