The first pour from this bottle required that I wait a minimum of ten minutes for it to oxidize before I deigned to take a first sip. But, hey, don't sell the whisky short right away. Give her time, for she is a complex-and-strange creation.
All sorts of exotically weird and Lovecraftian fruits emerged from my Haze 14 bottle that seemed almost otherworldly, along with clove, spices, the scent of Magickal Childe "bookstore" in NYC, old cracked leather car seats (complete with 1960's festering foam padding beneath), graham cracker, touch of sulfur (never a good thing for me), dark chocolate, baked seaweed crisps, sesame, fresh ground coffee, salted cashew, wet dog, damp rain-soaked forest loam in an oak forest, and a very pronounced yet subtle note of natural vanilla bean at the end.
Said dram is indeed a roller coaster ride for your tongue and mouth senses. The nose is a bit more austere, with hints of additional sulfur. I took one point off for the sulfur. The dram is quite complex on the nose when compared with an average Hazelburn, or a Springbank for that matter.
The Haze 14 is a bit too sweet for my sense of decorum, but that's just me. Some people love sherry bombs like this one. Bombs away for the bombadiers of whiskydom. Pluck the forbidden fruit if you dare.
So what of the potion's overpowering sweetness? Well, it isn't so much cloying or mouth curdling, as just plain uncommon, and even unforgiving by Springbank standards when compared with the 12 Year-old 2003 Port Wood Single Cask, for instance, (which, frankly I didn't particularly care for).
The quality of these oloroso casks is quite good! Springbank must have spent a lot of money using them as fresh fill for 14 whole years. With this in mind, the initial price of the release was very reasonable. Don't blame the distillery for greedy sellers who jack up the price on their bottles as demand and scarcity both go up in time.
The Whisky Barrel is currently asking 250 pounds for this bottle. Quite an upswing in price over a short period. The business most likely raised prices upon receiving a second shipment after the first had sold out.