The Balvenie distillery, rising in the middle of the world capital of whisky (Dufftown), is one of our favorite. Both for the high average quality and the traditional way to distill. The tour of the distillery winds along the malting floor and the cooperage, stages of production outsourced in the vast majority of cases. Also for this reason it’s one of the most fascinating Scottish distilleries to visit. And we fell in love with it. Anyway, now it’s the impartiality time and we must drink this dram leaving aside our emotions. The Doublewood, in the Balvenie core range since several years, matures almost ten years in ex bourbon barrels and it’s finished in European oak ex-sherry casks (first fill). The colour is a pale gold.
N: welcome back, gorgeous Balvenie’s malt! It shows a great personality even if it’s only 12 yo. The sherry finish is the first thing you detect: fresh notes of dessert wine, cherries in alcohol, raisins and nuts (plenty of hazelnuts, and some almond paste, too). Enchanting aromas of shortbreads and apricot croissants. Apple, candied citrus fruits. Meanwhile on the background vanilla and toffee constantly influence the nose experience. A gentle smokiness peeps and makes everything even more interesting.
P: wow, it’s sooo smooth, the alcohol is completely tamed. It’s really consistent with the nose and every drop in your mouth whisper one word: malt! It’s round, sweet, biscuity and creamy. Gorgeous amount of malt here, indeed. Raisins and vanilla are still here and they make us think to trifle or Malaga ice cream. Lovely red fruits (strawberries and sour cherries) and an undistincted spicy touch.
F: oily, long and quite persistent, with dried fruits and the unmistakable Balvenie’s malt.
It’s said that sometimes a sherry finish is the easiest way to make ordinary bottles interesting. But if we take a whisky that has nothing to envy to others older bottlings and we give it depth with a solid but polite finish… Well, it’s a standing ovation (also because its price is interesting, too). A wonderful 87/100, even if Serge is less enthusiastic (but we couldn’t detect any resinous note).
Recommended soundtrack: Burt Bacharach – Raindrops keep falling on my head