[Review] The Balvenie - 12 years old DoubleWood 40%

It is not the first time that I review a bottle of Balvenie as I have already reviewed the 14 year-old Caribbean cask a few posts ago.I remember being a little disappointed by the Caribbean Cask as I did not really find much rum influence in the whisky, my initial nose and taste being mainly vegetal and caramel. However, the more I go back to it and the more I enjoy it, I might even re-review it at some point and compare notes. Today is not about the 14 year-old though but about the standard 12 year-old. The 12 is Balvenie's entry level dram.It is called the DoubleWood as it was matured in two different types of casks: traditional oak whisky cask (ex-Bourbon) and then first fill European oak sherry cask. I don't know how many of the 12 years (minimum) the spirit has spent in one or the other but it doesn't state sherry cask finish, therefore I would think the time in ex-sherry cask should be at least a year or two. That definitely sounds interesting particularly when we consider that the Balvenie distillery grows its own barley and still uses traditional malting floors...


The Balvenie 12 DoubleWood is a lovely amber colour but nothing on the bottle states if the whisky was coloured or chill-filtered which suggests to me it has been. It was also bottled at 40% ABV.

Nose: Rich and fruity, sweet honey, cherry, chocolate, Oloroso sherry, hints of warm spices.

Palate: Smooth, sweet, round, honey first, rich fruit, cherry again, Oloroso nuttiness, treacle, toffee, cinnamon.

Finish: Mix of sweet and spicy, warming with some peppery notes, chocolate, quite dry actually.

With Water: More sherry on the nose, fresher fruit too, citrus, grapefruit. The palate is sweet and spicy and I get more chocolate on the finish.

A very nice 12 year-old whisky, quite easy to drink but with some great flavours. Worth giving it a try! Balvenie also have another 12 year-old whisky, but this one is a Single Barrel First Fill ex-Bourbon cask which I would like to try, not to mention their Single Barrel Sherry Cask 15 years old, which looks amazing (some batches even more so than the others). I hope I manage to get hold of a bottle or a sample in the near future! 

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