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House of Hazelwood unveils autumn release

Rare Scotch whisky collection House of Hazelwood has unveiled its Autumn Collection of eight releases, including a 1963 blend said to be the first of its kind to be offered for sale.

The first tranche of the range, drawn from the stocks of the Gordon family, owner of Glenfiddich and Balvenie distiller William Grant & Sons, sold out within weeks of its release in May this year.

The second batch again comprises eight whiskies – four each in The Charles Gordon Collection and The Legacy Collection – priced from £950 to £4,900 per bottle. All are exclusively available to pre-order online.

The rarest of the autumn releases is ‘A Singular Blend’, a combination of grain and malt whiskies produced at the same Highland distillery in the same year, 1963. Aged for 58 years in American oak, it is claimed to be the first Scotch whisky of its provenance offered for sale at such an age.

The collection includes four blends, two blended malts and two blended grains, aged for between 36 and 58 years, with names reflecting their back-stories or taste profiles, such as ‘The Old Confectioner’s’, ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ and ‘A Trail of Smoke’.

‘Our Autumn Collection speaks not only to the breadth and depth of the inventory that we are privileged to work with, but also to the character of those family members who built the stocks over the course of generations,’ said Jonathan Gibson, House of Hazelwood marketing director.

The House of Hazelwood Autumn Collection is exclusively available to pre-order from House of Hazelwood throughout October. Sales of ‘A Singular Blend’ are limited to House of Hazelwood Keyholders and existing buyers.

The Charles Gordon Collection:

A Singular Blend, 1963 Blend – 42%, £4,900/70cl, 74 bottles available worldwide
The Old Confectioner’s, 44 Year Old Blended Malt – 45%, £3,000/70cl, 256 bottles
The Next Chapter, 50 Year Old Blend – 44%, £4,000/70cl, 157 bottles
The Unknown, 44 Year Old Blend – 43%, £3,000/70cl, 143 bottles

The Legacy Collection:

A Breath of Fresh Air, 37 Year Old Blended Grain – 46%, £1,450/70cl, 417 bottles
A Trail of Smoke, 42 Year Old Blended Malt – 45%, £1,900/70cl, 385 bottles
The Eight Grain, 40 Year Old Blended Grain – 48%, £1,200/70cl, 384 bottles
The Lowlander, 36 Year Old Blend – 46%, £950/70cl, 432 bottles

Tasting notes

A Singular Blend

Remarkable provenance, remarkable whisky. This is a shapeshifting dram, moving from a perfumed nose of dried violet and creamy citrus through hints of walnut veneer into a wonderfully textured palate of dried fruit, toffee and sandalwood. Subtle, but concentrated.

The Old Confectioner’s

It may be the power of suggestion, but after an initial hit of ripe red fruits, scents of boiled sweets and mint toffee leap from the glass. The palate focuses much more on dried fruits with a whisper of smoke and more of that mint toffee, subsiding into Pontefract cakes.

The Next Chapter

Dense and seamless on the nose, with creamy toffee and hazelnut, leading into a formidably structured palate of dried apricot, leather and spice, plus savoury notes of rancio. A rich and robust blend with Bourbon cask evident on the nose, Sherry cask on the palate.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Light, ethereal and elusive, the scents of lily, eucalyptus and pink peppercorn are an unusual whisky combination. This blend of grain whiskies has some classical flavours of buttery cereal, alongside dark honey and good grip from assertive, but never dominant, oak.

A Trail of Smoke

A mix of island malts, this is surprisingly light on the nose, with restrained citrus aromas and a fresh scent of sea salt. The peat only really asserts itself in the mouth: maritime at first, then more obviously phenolic – but never really smoky. A vibrant and delightful whisky.

The Lowlander

Historically, Lowland malts were known for their lightness, and this is positively shy on the nose. Eventually, there’s light tangerine and fresh-cut grass alongside hedgerow scents. Just a hint of oak smoke on the palate – but take your time with this to tease out all the flavours.

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