Somehow a lot of Balvenies were already reviewed on these pages. However not the most popular one, the entry-level 12yo “Doublewood”, yes not a NAS bottling yet. Before the 12yo, the 10yo “Founder’s Reserve” was the entry-level Balvenie, but that one was discontinued in favour of this “Doublewood”. As I said before, Balvenie is a Single Malt I like to like, or like to love if you prefer, but somehow I don’t buy a lot of them anymore. Sometimes a bit weak and if they are really good, they are also really expensive. Once I had my own bottle of “Doublewood”,long, long ago, and it was very nice. I had several “Doublewood’s” since, but just like the 15yo “Single Barrel” I found the quality to be somewhat slipping, but they always stayed true to the Balvenie style, and for me that is elegance. Time to fill in one of the gaps on these pages and finally review the 12yo “Doublewood”. I can only hope this recent bottling does the trick for me again…
Color: Bright ocher gold.
Nose: Lots of caramel to welcome you, and hints of sugared orange skins. Creamy with slightly spicy oak. Sweet sawdust and sweet whipped cream. Hints of Cream Sherry, but the American oak donated a lot of vanilla to this Balvenie. It’s almost like there is also some virgin oak in this one. Hints of dried crushed leaves in autumn and a tiny burnt note. Smells fresh and well-balanced, although it does remind me of a heavily caramelized Whisky.
Taste: Nice but also rather thin. Sugary sweet and again caramel and cream. Yes, loads of vanilla are present as well as fresh almonds. It’s an ice-cream of a Whisky. The creamy aroma’s are quite big so it seems ok at 40% ABV. The lowest possible ABV to call itself Whisky, does show in the short finish. It hardly leaves any after taste. The finish itself seems to be built around a toffee flavour.
So this is probably a very nice entry-level Whisky. Very appetizing and sweet, with all the sweet markers. Toffee, caramel, Sugar and vanilla. Nothing to scoff at. Pretty good balance, but also quite simple. Not for analyzing, but for drinking without giving it too much thought. The only beef I have with this one is the short finish.