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Balvenie 10 Year Old Founder's Reserve

Average score from 4 reviews and 17 ratings 84

Balvenie 10 Year Old Founder's Reserve

Product details

  • Brand: Balvenie
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Balvenie 10 Year Old Founder's Reserve

Color: amber.

Nose: some classic Balvenie notes here -- apples, honey, and vanilla, some citrus -- but also something herbal, like Yerba Mate tea. And a kind of vegetable smell, like freshly cut green peppers.

Body: light and oily.

Palate: caramel, vanilla, and white chocolate over oranges and plums. There's just a tiny bit of smoke and pepper, and I still pick up the herbal and vegetable flavors.

Finish: warm but not particularly long. I'd say the herbal and vegetable flavors last the longest.

My father-in-law had a liter of this hidden in a cabinet for seven years and just brought it out. It had been so long since he had poured it, that cork crumbled in the bottle. After a long complicated process of filtering the whisky of the cork, we finally got around to tasting it. I can't promise that the flavors weren't affected by the deterioration of the cork or the filtering process, but we still really enjoyed this variety.

My father-in-law sent a dram home with me in a jar, and I did a blind taste test against the 17-year DoubleWood. There was no contest, but this one was still surprisingly satisfying for being a 10-year-old whisky. It really is too bad Balvenie stopped making this. I'd like to buy a fresh bottle.


In the heart of Speyside you can find the second distillery (after Glenfiddich) of the Grant’s family: Balvenie (say ‘bal-VEE-ny). This Founder’s Reserve is their discontinued 10 Year Old, which was followed by the Signature 12. It is a combination of bourbon and sherry casks.

I am confronted by bittersweet fruits such as mandarin, oranges and mandora on the first whiff, all orange peeled fruits yet all different. The nose evolves nicely into apricots and pineapple. Quite some honey. A hint of tea. Some liquorice, rosewater and mild spices in the mix, which results in a very pleasant, fruity nose. A hint of smoke is hidden underneath the fruit.

It starts a bit weak on the palate, but that is the silence before the storm. A lot of sherry influence, slightly drying, on orange peel, caramel and vanilla. Nicely round and balanced. The oak adds some spices, but does not dominate.

The long, soft and sweet finish, warms the heart. On fruit, liquorice and brown sugar.

What a great whisky. Top Speysider. Oh, lest I forget, the Grants have a third distillery, Kininvie, but no single malt has yet been released.


So we have recently done a Balvenie tasting pack of five different expressions. thought we would post our notes here.

The Founder’s Reserve is first up. This was introduced as one of the standard Balvenie expressions in the eighties but was recently replaced by the Signature 12 year old. It is a combination of bourbon and sherry cask matured whisky.

Nose: Initially a faint hint of tea. Tangerines and oranges. Dried fruit peel. Liquorice sticks. Light oak. Taste: Lightly sherried. Soft, rounded. Spiced oranges and cream. The oak adds a little spice but isn't allowed to dominate. Superbly balanced.

We were very impressed with this and on average slightly preferred it to the doublewood and signature. We fortuitously came by some bottles (hence this tasting) and are on the look out for some more! It is fetching around £40 per bottle on ebay

Your review inspired me to do some calling around. I was quite surprised and very pleased to have been able to have purchased three more bottles of the Balvenie Founders Reserve 10 yo today. It seems unlikely that we shall be given an explanation by the company for the reasons why this very fine malt was discontinued. Most likely the Founders Reserve was, as Jim Murray suggests in his 2011 and 2012 Jim Murray Whisky Bible Balvenie Doublewood 12 yo review, "sacrificed on the altar of ageism."

Not more than 2 years ago I picked up 3 bottles at the price of $30 each (was a closeout sale)...This was my 1st single malt that I enjoyed several years ago that got me into scotch whisky...The 12 yr Signature is the successor - however I'm not sure if the 12 yr Signature is any "better" than the fine 10 yr Founders Reserve; I agree with many that Balvenie should bring the Founders Reserve back.


The Balvenie 10 yr. old Founder's Reserve is a malt which has been recently discontinued. I did manage to buy a bottle within the last 4 months. Some time ago this was my first malt whisky, and I must say that I fell in love with it. The 10 yr Founder's Reserve combines malt matured only in bourbon casks with malt matured only in sherry casks

Nose: rich, sweet, complex, fruity, sherry wine,honey, with a faint hint of peat

Taste: honey first, then sherry, then malt, with a little peat, some plum flavour, and a touch of chestnut

Finish: Complexity remains through a rather long finish, with each of the different elements remaining tastable until the end

Balance: This is a beautiful little whisky, and I think that it is enjoyable by any whisky lovers who can appreciate subtlety and complexity. Yes, it is "beginner-friendly", but that is just a bonus here. Both the flavours and the balance of this 10 yr Founder's Reserve work far better for me than the 12 yr old DoubleWood which seems to be The Balvenie's designated replacement at the young end of the age spectrum

I have been eyeing several bottles at local shops, but at $47/bottle, it was enough to keep me from trying it out "blind." After hearing about it now, I would love to get a taste of it. However, I am in an agreement with some fellow compulsive buyers of whisky to go on a sort of "fast" (from buying, not drinking!) until March 17th. Bummer...

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