Whisky: Balvenie 12 year old Double Wood
Balvenie 12 Year old Double Wood
I'm a huge fan of Balvenie, with their 21 year old Portwood finished whisky being one of my top favorite Speysides. Even more after my recent distillery visit where I had the opportunity to try a 39 year old whisky from 1974, straight from the cask which was an epic experience in and of itself, well to say that it deepened my loving for this distillery would be an understatement.
I recently had the chance to sample their entry level Balvenie 12 year old Doublewood, which many of my friends have raved about for months, if not years. It's a whisky that I myself always walk past in the bottle shops as I'm personally more drawn to the cask strength whiskies, with big bold flavors, but when this chance came along to sample it, I couldn't pass it up.
Into my trusty glencairn it goes and let's see what we can see.
Nose: the first thing that hits me is smoke, very nice soft sweet smoke, then oranges, then honey and vanilla with some further citrus following it up (mandarins?)
Definitely a soft Speyside feel to the aroma and it makes me interested in how the palate will shape up.
Taste: Sweet, way too sweet for me, honey, lots of honey, oranges and citrus, vanilla, faint hint of smoke, very faint.
And a short finish, very sweet with the honey leading center charge and the vanilla following it all up.
This would likely be a very good entry level whisky for most people, being quite smooth and sweet with the honey and vanilla and the faint hint of smoke provides some interest to those who are not familiar with the Speyside's smokier cousins in the Highlands, however personally for me it's too sweet and the 40% abv just doesn't provide the mouthfeel that I'm looking for.
But that being said if you're looking to start exploring whiskies this whisky would likely be a good place to start and at around $75 AUS a bottle you won't break the bank purchasing a bottle.