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Balvenie 12 Year Old DoubleWood

Double or Nothing

0 175

@VictorReview by @Victor

6th Feb 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The Balvenie's 12 yr old DoubleWood is matured in bourbon barrels all but the last few months of its maturation at which point it is transferred to European oak sherry casks

Nose: sherry, honey, a little malt, a hint of peat

Taste: some sherry first, then malt, then a little honey. There is some subdued peat here as well, and just a hint of nut flavour

Finish: the sherry takes over the finish, but it is still not a very full sherry flavour. The other flavours are present, but take a back seat to the sherry

Balance: this seems to me to be a badly proportioned whisky. It has enough sherry to muddy the other flavours on delivery and finish, but not enough to establish a rich full sherry flavour. I would tell The Balvenie to either double (or triple) the sherry cask maturation time or to forget the sherry cask maturation entirely. A "sherry bomb" whisky is one valid approach, but this is too tepid to make it there. There is just enough sherry to mess things up here but not enough to establish something desirable. I prefer the 10 yr Founder's Reserve approach, where there is some sherry included in the flavours, but not enough to muddle the other flavours. For what it is worth, Jim Murray in his 2011 Whisky Bible, sees these two whiskies' relative net ratings similarly to the way that I do

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Victor commented

Laudable Oxidation! A full 14 months after opening and half completing this bottle of Balvenie 12 yo Doublewood, the flavours have shifted in a very good way. Right now this same bottle would rate an 85 from me. The chemical changes must have occurred recently because I have sampled this bottle many times previously and never much liked it.

There are batch effects with Doublewood too, I have found. My sister has a bottle which tasted quite good right upon opening, and nothing like my current bottle of 14 months-at-first-not-so-great Doublewood.

It seems that most commenters like this whisky a good bit, and many recommend it as a good affordable whisky. There is also a vocal and spirited minority (including Jim Murray) who have experienced it similarly to the way I did for the first 14 months.

9 years ago 0

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