This October saw the release of the second collection of rare and old Scotch whiskies from the much-vaunted cellars of the House of Hazelwood, the ancestral home of the Grant family.
For over a century, the storied Speyside family have been laying down casks of the most remarkable and unusual Hazelwood whiskies – those with a unique story, a brave twist or an experimental style, and after the success of the inaugural ‘First Drop’ release, the Autumn Collection continues to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the inventory available to the current custodians.
With every whisky chosen on its own merits, the brand’s insistence that every drop must be remarkable means that this is a truly special selection of Hazelwood whiskies – so compelling in style, story and character – that you can’t help but want to talk about them.
A Singular Blend, 1963 Blended Scotch Whisky, 74 bottles worldwide, £4,900
A Hazelwood whisky of exceptional age and scarcity – a blend where both malt and grain were distilled at the same Highland distillery in 1963. It has notes of liquorice and marzipan, pineapple cube sweets and black cherry which move through sour cherry, fish oil and tomato leaf before ending with a lingering antique finish of pepper and lime.
The Old Confectioner’s, 44 Year Old Blended Malt Whisky, 256 bottles worldwide, £3,000
There is no doubting the aptness of the name on this bottle – a tour of the jelly sweets, sherbets and even the furniture of an old sweet shop. The Mahogany desk comes through on the palate with sour cherries and candle wax (this sweet shop is very old). The finish incorporates the wax paper your cherry lips come wrapped in.
The Next Chapter, 50 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, 157 bottles worldwide, £4,000
Distilled in 1972, this resinous, waxy dram slept in European and American oak for forty years before being transferred to a first fill American oak cask for a ten year ‘finish’ – the result is a revitalised combination of caramel, orange pastille sweets and honeyed almond.
The Unknown, 44 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, 143 bottles worldwide, £3,000
Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing – the constituent parts of this blend were distilled in 1978, blended in 1989 and matured for a further 33 years in a single refill butt. The nose is all brown sugar, black pepper and red grape; the palate fine brown sugar and toffee and the finish the spice of a Thai red curry.
A Breath of Fresh Air, 37 Year Old Blended Grain Whisky, 417 bottles worldwide, £1,450
A blended grain whisky of incredibly uncommon vintage, this has a nose of rum, raisin or tiramisu, but a palate of fresh mint, floral lavender and green melon. The breezy finish carries grass, peppermint and geranium oil over a fine grassy base.
A Trail of Smoke, 42 Year Old Blended Malt Whisky, 385 bottles worldwide £1,900
A complex tour of Scotland’s whisky-making islands, this blended malt starts with the sweetness of strawberry sherbet, a dab of butter and a hint of burnt toast, before opening up to pineapple, green apple, olive brine and raspberry jelly.
The Eight Grain 40 Year Old Blended Grain Whisky, 384 bottles worldwide, £1,200
A forty year old blend from eight closed and active grain distilleries, this dram opens with toffee apple, lemon sherbet and icing sugar, finishing with candy floss, golden syrup and red apple. Amongst this sweetness there is also a hint of garlic butter and parsley fresh from your lobster dinner.
The Lowlander, 36 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, 432 bottles worldwide, £950
A celebration of the oft-overlooked Lowland distilleries, this blended Scotch whisky is grassier than a freshly mown field with notes of toasted hay, marzipan and blueberry jam on the nose, followed by honey, stewed red fruits and a vegetal hint redolent of agave.
The Autumn Collection is available exclusively for pre-order starting throughout October, with sales of the highly sought-after ‘A Singular Blend’ limited to House of Hazelwood Keyholders and previous customers throughout this period.
To discover more, visit houseofhazelwood.com
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All imagery courtesy of House of Hazelwood.