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Balvenie 17 Doublewood (2014, OB, 46%)

The Doublewood version of Balvenie is amongst the most appreciated from the fan of the distillery, and we’re on the front line! Recently, besides the 12yo, this 17yo ages in bourbon and finished in sherry has been released; enough with the blabla, we’re thirsty!

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N: oh boy…. the typical Balvenie malt here seems vanished… Probably the finish is more aggressive compared with the 12yo; it delivers a “sweet” note a bit too marked compared with the nuances that we got used to: lots of apples, dark honey, caramel: caramelized apples… Afterwards a lot of egg yolk, Catalan cream, raisins. In the background, a pinch of wood and dried fruits. Slowly, thanks to the oxygen, fruity “sherried” notes appear, like cherries and strawberries. At the end it becomes more woody / grassy, like tea left bit too much in infusion. 

P: first and foremost a good body, full and mouth coating. We were worried a very sugary palate, in full Distiller’s edition style, instead it thankfully remains in balance between sweetness and elegant malty notes. Again strong hints of apples, honey, caramel and panettone (Christmas Italian cake); everything is well counterbalanced with bitter dried fruits, it seems rhubarb. The malt slightly rises at the end, buttery, helps mitigating the sweet bombs. Candid orange.

F: long; honey, caramel, malt, chocolate. 

What to say, a whisky altogether coherent and contradictory; really pleasant and excessive. If feels like the paintbrush of sherry takes the scene, making the whisky “excessive” (not surprisingly, being a Balvenie); at the same time, this paintbrush, is made over an extremely high quality malt, which doesn’t “bend over” to be covered and overpowered by the wood. 86/100, on with the next!

Recommended soundtrack: Robert Ellis – Good intentions.

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