The Balvenie 12 Double Wood gets its name from the barreling process it goes through before reaching the bottle. After being distilled the new make is put into ex-bourbon casks, as is largely the norm in Scotland, and after about 12 years of aging / maturing in the bourbon barrels the spirit is dumped into first fill sherry casks and left to age for about 2 more months.
This short sherry finishing doesn’t really lend much of that sherry flavor to this single malt, but more lends a subtle sweetness and rounds the whole thing out; helping to further remove any rough edges it might have had coming out of the ex-bourbon barrels. Regardless of the time spent finishing in sherry casks, the end result of that DoubleWood process is a fine tasting whisky.
Balvenie 12 DoubleWood Review
Age: 12 years
Slightly red caramel
Complex tropical and orchard fruit opens up. It leans a bit heavy on the tropical side with honey, vanilla, and a nice dessert sweetness giving support. A few dashes of malt and sweet cocoa add more dimension and excitement.
Muddled tropical and orchard fruit laced with caramel and honey dance across the tongue followed by light notes of wood, malt, dark sweetness, red licorice and a hint of melon. The flavor takes on a noticeably darker character.
Malt and wood and fruit and char and something intriguing that I can’t quite pinpoint pleasantly linger long after the dram is gone.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
There is a nice harmony to this whisky and it’s carried on a medium body and a smooth oily texture.
The Balvenie 12 DoubleWood is one of my favorite kicking-it-around-the-house sipping whiskies. It has enough complexity to keep it interesting and fun, but light enough to fit into almost any occasion. That warm fruit and honey nose that slips into darkly sweet and fruit palate and fades out in equal parts sweet and rustic puts a smile on my face every time. It also pairs well with food and makes great cocktails if you’re so inclined. It’s just an all around great whisky.