Balvenie 12 Years Old Doublewood

The Balvenie Doublewood Aged 12 Years

Image courtesy of Master of Malt

1. What they say

DoubleWood 12 was launched in 1993, using a process designed by our Malt Master David Stewart in 1982, now commonly known as ‘wood finishing’.

To make The Balvenie DoubleWood, David Stewart MBE takes whisky that has spent at least 12 years in traditional whisky casks, American Oak ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads, and moves it to Spanish oak ex-Oloroso sherry casks for an additional nine months.

The whisky is then transferred to large oak vessels called “tuns” for 3-4 months to allow the whiskies from individual casks to “marry”.

The Balvenie DoubleWood single malt whisky gains its distinctive character from being matured in two different wood types. Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt whisky.

The traditional casks soften and add delicate character, the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour and the final few months in our tuns allow the whiskies to marry harmoniously.

2. Official tasting notes

  • Nose Sweet fruit and Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla.
  • Taste Smooth and mellow with beautifully combined flavours ~ nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.
  • Finish Long and Warming

3. Details

  • ABV 40%
  • Age 12 Years old
  • Bottler OB, William Grant & Sons
  • Bottling Doublewood
  • Cask Bourbon & Sherry
  • Category Single malt scotch whisky
  • Cost £45
  • Origin The Balvenie Distillery
  • Region Speyside
  • Released 1993

4. What I say

Another return to The Balvenie’s Doublewood 12 expression. I thought it had been some time since I last tried/had a bottle of this and I was correct. Last sampled in 2018 or at least the last time I wrote notes. I still firmly believe this has a rightful place on everyone’s shelf or collection. A pleasure to revisit and try it again. Balvenie’s ‘entry-level’ expresison aged for 12 years and matured in ex-Bourbon American oak before finishing in ex-Oloroso sherry casks.

5. The Whiskyphiles tasting notes

  • Colour Amber gold (10/20), medium-fine tears and legs.
  • Nose Sweet honey, grassy cereals, dried hay, fruity pears and apple, vanilla, sherry, raisin and nutty almonds.
  • Taste Smooth, medium-bodied, caramel, Werther’s originals toffees, green apple skin, almonds, bakewell tart, raisins, sticky toffee pudding, some apple pie and cinnamon.
  • Finish Medium, soft, sugary initially then becomes drying with a touch of woody spices.

6. Overall

Smooth and honeyed, a very well put together expression from The Balvenie. I feel I picked out more of the sherry component more clearly possibly due to age or experience or perhaps this batch the sherry influence is more defined. A real pleasure to revisit and simply enjoy.

7. Score 84/100

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