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In keeping with my latest entry-level dram series, we have this twelve year old DoubleWood. I believe it replaces the old 10 Year Old Founder's Reserve (which is excellent - grab it if you can find it), and is matured for ten years in ex-bourbon barrels, then another two years in ex-sherry casks.
The colour is a deep amber. On the nose, quite malty, with lots of toffee and vanilla. Pistachios, chocolate ganache and layers of both tropical and dark fruits. Very rich nose, nicely balanced between the bourbon and sherry casks, with a tiny hint of peat in the very background. More malty with a bit of water.
On the palate, the sherry cask jumps to the front of the line, with more dark fruits and Christmas pudding. Some could mistake this for a rum! There is still lots of caramel and chocolate - quite sweet. Water tames the richness a bit.
The finish is a little rough, with more caramel and marzipan. Overall, a little too sweet for my liking, but that is where I am hit-and-miss with Balvenie. As far as their 12 year old expressions go, I prefer the Signature, which unfortunately has been discontinued. Am curious to try the 17 Year Old DoubleWood and do a side-by-side!