The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Old Single Malt Review



My whisk(e)y journey started with Jack Daniels, then I moved onto Irish whiskey, predominantly blends like Bushmills & Jameson. Then I got adventurous and moved into Scotch, but again the blends such as Teachers, Bells & The Famous Grouse. I used to look at the Scotch single malts like Glenfiddich, Glenlivet & Glenmorangie and think to myself, 'Can these whiskies really justify the extra outlay, are they that much better?'. So I decided that it was only proper to investigate and the end result was that The Balvenie Doublewood 12 year old was the first proper single malt whisk(e)y that I purchased. I had never heard of Balvenie before but its packaging really caught my eye, it just looked so classy I had to buy it! (Another victory for well thought out product presentation).


Balvenie are a bit of a 'one off' distillery these days for a few reasons. They grow their own barley, they malt their own barley on a traditional malting floor, with the malt men turning all the malt by hand up to four times a day until it is ready to be dried. They have their own onsite coppersmith to maintain their stills and have their own cooperage for preparing and maintaining all their casks. Finally, their Malt Master is David Stewart, a man with over fifty years experience in the industry and is credited with pioneering the cask finishing process that is so prevalent throughout the whisk(e)y industry today.

The Doublewood gets its name from the casking process it undergoes. The raw spirit is left to rest in American oak bourbon casks for at least 12 years. Then this spirit is transferred to European sherry oak casks for a few months to add a sherry finish.

You can find out more about Balvenie from their official website at: https://uk.thebalvenie.com/


Colour:

Caramel

Nose:

Toffee, stewed fruit, almonds and a slight oakiness

Palate:

Smooth and mellow oak, vanilla, honey, light spice & a hint of sherry. The sherry notes of dark fruit & nuts very much in the background.

Finish:

Long, really warms the back of the throat. Each sip adds to building that warmth up and adding layers of tannin's & spices.

Overall:

The Balvenie Doublewood 12 year old is a really solid dram. A very easy access point into scotch whisky but also has enough going on that scotch lovers will still enjoy a dram if poured for them. It has a fairly light mouthfeel. The sherry finish doesn't overpower the house style of honey, heather & vanilla but just adds a little extra layer of spice and warmth. Equally though, it doesn't quite convey the stewed fruit & nuttiness that the nose suggests. All in all though, it is apparent why this expression of Balvenie is so popular as it is just a good all round dram!


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