Review: The Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood

I’ve come to a startling realization recently that is going to be corrected over the next few weeks, starting right now.

It should be no surprise to anyone that The Balvenie is my favorite distillery. It has been since the very beginning of my whisky journey and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. You could imagine my surprise then when I was looking through my archives on this site and noticed that I didn’t have a single Balvenie review posted. I’ve done a few experiments that involve the distillery but have no formal reviews posted. That doesn’t sit right with me so over the next several weeks, I’m going to post a flood of Balvenie reviews. If that’s your sort of thing, you’re in for a treat. If not, hang tight for a bit while I right this very serious wrong.

Let’s start with the modern flagship of the distillery, the 12 Year Doublewood. It’s affordable, easily available, and a good starting point for people looking to get into this hobby. This whisky is matured in ex-bourbon casks for almost 12 years before being moved to sherry casks for a short finishing period. Malt Master David Stewart was one of the first to do this finishing technique and while it’s commonplace today, it was groundbreaking at the time.

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The Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood - 43% ABV
Category Notes
Appearance Light copper
Nose Intense sweetness, heaps of vanilla, honey, hints of dried fruit
Taste A major blast of honey sweetness, vanilla follows right behind it, sherry spiciness. A little water brings out some additional fruit. Water mellows this one out big time! Whispers of baked apple after several minutes.
Finish A little too short for my liking, but the honey comes back for one last reminder (in case you somehow forgot).
Overall Thoughts If you like honey, boy is The Balvenie Doublewood for you! This 12 year offering is a great everyday dram. Doublewood spends almost all of its 12+ years in American oak bourbon barrels and it really shows in the nose and taste. Too much water really kills this whisky so be careful not to add too much!
Total Score 84/100