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Balvenie 12 Year Old DoubleWood

Oompa Loompas Not Required

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@DougfulReview by @Dougful

2nd Nov 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I had heard so many good things about The Balvenie 12 yr Double Wood that a few months ago I added the bottle to my cabinet. I have to admit that initially I didn't get what all the hubbub was about, but it has grown on me the more I have it.

Nose: On first whiff it smells strongly of sherry, honey, and malt. On further reflection wafts of stewed prunes, vanilla, walnuts, rose potpourri, and a latex paint (never would have thought of that as a good note before - but it is here) make themselves known. A pleasant nose but not one I need to sniff for hours.

Palate: Sweet. Initially it mimics the malty sherried honey of the nose, then it transitions to a mild cinnamon and vanilla spice. The malt aspect reminds me of Clynelish 14. Quite nice.

Finish: The sweetness on the palate pleasantly shifts to a mild coffee-like bitterness. Oaky. That then fades into more vanilla and spice. The finish is long and after the bitterness leaves my mouth tastes like I just drank a sweet bourbon instead of scotch!

In the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory there is a scene where a girl samples a gum that tastes like a full 3 course meal, before Oompa Loompas roll her away as an inflated blueberry. This is what this whisky reminds me of. It takes you through many flavor profiles that have definite beginnings and ends. For me it is the finish that really makes this scotch. For its price you really can't do much better.

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