Friday, October 13, 2017

Tasting: Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year

The Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery: The Balvenie
Age: 17 years
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
US Price: $125
Release: Ongoing
Cask: American Oak Bourbon Barrels/European Oak Sherry Casks

Points: 93/100

I’m just going to come out and say it.  This may be my favorite Balvenie from their core range.  No, this is not just a 5 years older version of the 12 year Doublewood.  This is a completely different beast with a huge nose and packed with flavor.  Malt master David Stewart really knocked it out of the park with this one.  You don’t like The Balvenie?  Well, give this a go and you may find yourself dropping $125 on a bottle for yourself.

The Balvenie Doublewood 17 year was originally released in 2012 to mark the 50th anniversary of malt master David Stewart along with a 50 year old Balvenie.  Sorry, there won’t be a review of that any time soon as I don’t have $43,000 lying around, but this 17 year old Doublewood really hits the spot.  There is a huge range of flavors from nose to finish that easily take this dram from a drink to an experience.  Now we’ll just have to see how it matches up to the almighty 21 year Portwood.

Nose:  Green apples up front with toasted oak, honey, vanilla and the slightest hint of milk chocolate. Notes of black cherry, brown sugar and banana.

Taste:  Pleasant, oily mouthfeel and big, bold flavors.  Dried fruits, raisins, toasted almonds and spices followed by cinnamon, vanilla and honey.  More dark flavors through the development with notes of leather and tobacco as you approach the finish.

Finish:  Medium short finish.  Slightly dry, spicy and candied like a chocolate orange and liquorice.