Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood

Speyside Single Malt, 12 Years, 40% ABV, $40

The second whisky is Balvenie’s 12 Year Old Doublewood (there’s also a 17 Year Old now). I’ve had a taste of this before, but I can really spend some time with it this time. Over the aging span this whisky is first put in ex-bourbon casks, then transferred to first-fill Oloroso sherry casks for the remainder of the time (they don’t indicate how long in each).

The color is golden and it’s got a sweet grassy smell with notes of pear, apple, bitter orange, straw, burnt sugar, ginger, green pepper and a hint of smoke. I’m enjoying inhaling this one.

The first sip confirms the fruits and ginger while adding a good bit of peppery spice at the end. There’s also a woody finish with a hint of white pepper. As I continue to sip, flavors of vanilla, honey, orange, plum, pear, apple and ginger develop. The finish becomes a bit sweeter with notes of burnt sugar, but is still mostly bitter wood and mildly hot. The sherry influence becomes more evident after a while but continues to be balanced by a dry tannins and spices. It improves mildly with each sip and keeps me interested and hunting for other flavors. Just a drop or two of water opens up the flavors, but I wouldn’t add more than that. It’s just fine straight and loses just a bit of spicy bite with the water.

This is a very good whisky that I would enjoy again for sure. I think its a good value too at $40. Oh, and thanks to Gene for the sample.

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