The Balvenie Doublewood 12 year
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery: The Balvenie
Age: 12 years
US Price: $45
Cask: American Oak Bourbon Barrels/Spanish Oak Olorosso Sherry Casks
The Balvenie distillery was founded in 1892 and is owned by William Grant & Sons. They currently have five wash stills and six spirit stills and produce close to 7 million liters of alcohol per year. They are also unique in that they are one of the few distilleries to malt some of their own barley, as well as having their own coppersmith and cooperage on site.
The Balvenie Doublewood 12 year is not only a perfect intro to the Balvenie, but is one of my go to bottles when introducing someone to single malt Scotch. It's a whisky that provides an excellent balance of flavors from both Bourbon and Sherry casks but isn't so complex as to deter new drinkers.
This 12 year is called Doublewood because it is matured in two different types of casks. The spirit is initially aged for 12 years in American Oak Bourbon barrels and hogsheads and is then transferred to Spanish Oak Olorosso Sherry casks for an additional 9 months. From there, it is moved to tuns to allow to marry for 3 to 4 months before being bottled.
Nose: Huge amounts of honey bursts on the nose with vanilla and caramel. Stewed fruits, pencil shavings, heather and a hint of raspberries with a slight note of cocoa in the background.
Taste: The honeyed sweetness dominates the palate followed by vanilla and caramel. Also picking up some tropical fruits. After time and a few sips, the Sherry influence begins to make itself known with notes of spices, cinnamon and black pepper in the development.
Finish: Medium finish. Sweet and spicy with cinnamon, oak and tannins creating just a slight dryness.