|The Balvenie Distillery|
Based in Banffshire in Speyside, Balvenie not only grow their own malt but have kept the old-fashioned malt floor – one of only a few distilleries in Scotland to do so! In 2006, Balvenie won big at the International Spirit Challenge. They won gold medals for their Founder’s Reserve 10 YO, Doublewood 12 YO, 30 YO and Portwood 1991. This is still the biggest number of gold medals won at any one time by any distillery since the challenge began. Balvenie is now the ninth best-selling single malt.
Balvenie 12 Year Old – DoubleWood
This 70cl bottle of Speyside single malt comes in at 40% ABV. Balvenie 12 YO has won six award: two gold, three silver, and one bronze – an impressive feat. This is another entry level malt but one more complex due its time in two different oak casks. This whisky has spent ten years in refilled American oak cask and two years in first fill European oak sherry casks.
Appearance: A hazy, amber-tinged gold. A thick and sticky malt. Lots of legs but not very well defined droplets.
Nose: A very subtle nose but a delightful combination of spiced apple pie, crisp autumn leaves, maple syrup and lemon sherbet followed by damp wood. Overall it’s soft and welcoming, and requires quite a few noses to give full appreciation.
Madyson: 4/5 | Rami: 3/5
Palate: Surprisingly, a very warm palate. This palate is heavily influenced by its time in bourbon casks. A creamy caramel fudge initially overwhelms your palate accompanied by hints of American oak. The intense caramel then gives way to nuttier tones of walnuts with dark cocoa. Hold it in your mouth for a little longer and the whisky will reveal some spice – and possibly a subtle, echo of peat.
Madyson: 3/5 | Rami: 4/5
Finish: The whisky entirely coats your mouth. The sherry influence is much more present as is the spice. Cinnamon, wood and sultanas are all present.
Madyson: 4/5 | Rami 4/5.
Overall: This is a very easy going single malt with soft and subtle layers that require deep investigation to be revealed. This would be a perfect malt to introduce your friend into the fold and would also satisfy your whisky snob of a friend.