Balvenie 12 DoubleWood Review

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 years Review

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

Distiller: Balvenie
Age: 12 years
ABV: 43%
Price: $45

EYE
Slightly red caramel

NOSE
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.

PALATE
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.

FINISH
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.

OVERALL
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.

SCORE: 87/100

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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5 Responses to Balvenie 12 DoubleWood Review

  1. I’ve tried so hard to not be pedantic, but I read your reviews regularly and think they’re great. But for the record:

    it’s = it is.
    e.g. “It’s Wednesday.”

    its = possessive
    e.g. “The Balvenie 12 Double Wood gets its name from the barreling process.”

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Was wondering when this one would pop up. I was very curious to know how you would score it. I think we have a pretty similar opinion of it. It’s a solid daily drinker for sure, but maybe a little on the boring side. I think the price is a little high for this bottle though. I actually think Glenmorangie 10 is on par in terms of quality but it gets the edge overall because of the lower price. Can’t go wrong with this one though.

    • Yeah the price increase it’s experienced over the last 2 or 3 years have made it a little harder to buy, but Glenmorangie is about to be in that same boat. The 10 year is going up $5-$10 and the 18 is going up by about $40! Yeesh.

  3. I’m not big on scotch. Most of it I don’t like, some of it I can live with or without it, and a few I really like. This is one of the few. I don’t know what it was about it but it may be what you described as “something intriguing” on the finish. It has to be good when your expectation going in is its going to be something you don’t like and it blows those preconceptions away.

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