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Naturally we now have coated the whiskies of Speyside’s Balvenie on many events, starting from backyard selection choices to the luxe releases within the numerous Tun collection. At present we’re taking a brand new take a look at two of the distillery’s entry-level choices, bottles which we’ve reviewed on numerous events and which deserve tasting once more with a contemporary palate. Let’s dig in.
The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Years Outdated (2022) – Reviewed usually, however last seen in 2017. One of many workhorse bottlings of the Scotch world, this can be a basic bourbon-aged Speyside with sherry ending on the highest to spherical it out. In distinction to my feedback from 5 years in the past, right now I discover the bourbon doing extra of the heavy lifting, providing a wealthy nostril of charred wooden, leathery saddle, and racy black pepper — all well-laced with chocolate malt notes, giving it a direct contact of sweetness. The palate pushes the woodier notes to the aspect and lets the malt do extra of the speaking, rounding out that well-roasted cereal character with notes of darkish chocolate, cloves, and almond-heavy nougat. It’s just a little sharp and punchy on the end — the sherry lastly entering into the combo right here — and it appears to lose its footing a bit, taking up a dustier dried-spice character that culminates in a considerably chalky texture. It’s a high quality whisky, however I all the time suppose I’m going to love DoubleWood greater than I do. 86 proof. B / $65 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]
The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Years Outdated – We haven’t reviewed this bottling because it was initially launched in 2010, on the time referred to as Balvenie Rum Cask, although it carried the identical 14 12 months outdated age assertion then, too. Aged in bourbon barrels and completed for an unspoken size of time in rum barrels, the whisky has a robust nostril of toffee, a touch of menthol, and components of stewed fruits within the combine. The rum character is clearer on the palate, with a delicate molasses aspect and notes of oxidized wine making a fruity, semi-sweet base be aware that’s overlaid by a wholesome quantity of malty cereal, charred wooden, and a spritz of lemon. The end brings all of this collectively, fitfully however properly sufficient, with lingering hints of ashy, burnt marshmallow and only a bit extra of that lemon peel. 86 proof. B+ / $87 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS] [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]