Whisky Review: The Balvenie Doublewood 17 Years Old
- Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
- Origin: The Balvenie Distillery
- Bottling: William Grant & Sons
- ABV: 43%
- Cost: £89.95
What they say
To craft The Balvenie DoubleWood 17 year old single malt whisky Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE returned to one of his most celebrated achievements – consecutive maturation in two different types of cask, a process often referred to as ‘cask finishing’.
This technique is at the heart of The Balvenie DoubleWood – it sees the whisky matured first in American oak barrels, which impart soft sweet vanilla notes, before being transferred to European oak sherry casks, where the second cask ageing adds rich spicy flavours and a depth and fullness of flavour.
The DoubleWood 17 year old is an elder sibling to DoubleWood 12 year old and shares its honeyed, spicy characteristics, but it is distinctly different, with deeper vanilla notes, hints of green apple, creamy toffee and a striking richness and complexity.
Official tasting notes:
- NOSE: Elegant and complex oak, vanilla, honeyed sweetness and a hint of green apple.
- TASTE: Sweet with dried fruits, sherbet spice, toasted almonds and cinnamon, layered with a richness of creamy toffee notes and traces of oak and deep vanilla.
- FINISH: Vanilla oak, honey and spicy sweetness.
What we say
Sampled again in 2017 during The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner Tweet Tasting hosted by Alwynne Gwilt and The Whisky Wire.
The Balvenie 17 Years Old Doublewood was initially released back in 2012 and forms part of the core range from The Balvenie.
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Old Sauternes (11/20), slow and rare medium tears and legs
- Nose: Sweet brown/woody sugars and lighter vanilla notes, fruity, apple, pear and raisin, some spiced elements to it, like spiced mead, honey and gristy cereal barley, quite a light fruit juice/ apple juice nature to this nose
- Taste: Mid-sweet, oaky and also toffee, caramac bars and cigar boxes, spiced caramel sauce, pepper, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, clove and almost a hint of chilli oil, a touch of molasses and raisins, woody throughout
- Finish: Medium-long, oak wood, spun sugar backing/old cellophane, malt extract and some mocha ground cocoa and coffee bean mixture
[sic] Similar to the eponymous 12yo but aged for a further five years to give something more refined and deeper.
On re-tasting this was pervaded with oak wood throughout, like old oak revealing the grain from where treatment (teak) oil would exude, spices are more varied than I remember but also a little more muted. Still that lovely gristy barley and honey mixture which all Balvenie possess
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