Balvenie Doublewood - 12 year old
The Balvenie distillery is located in Dufftown, Banffshire and was founded by the Grant family in 1892 - the same family who also kickstarted the Kininvie and Glenfiddich distilleries. The distillery grows and malts its own barley and claims to be unique in this process. So, a rich history, then, and it's clear when tasting the Doublewood 12 that great care has been taken to ensure a fine, balanced single malt which is widely touted as a great introduction to the wide and wonderful world of whisky.
The Doublewood is botted at 40% and takes its name from the two oak casks involved in its maturation. The spirit is first matured in traditional oak before being transferred towards the end of its maturation process to a first-fill European oak sherry cask. This rounds off the whisky, giving it added depth and enhances its character.
On the nose, the Doublewood is full of juicy green apples, which eventually give way to stewed soft fruit, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon. Spend a little time with it, and vanilla notes and honey-drizzled oak come through, while there is the faintest hint of cocoa buried underneath. On the palate there's bags of vanilla and caramel notes mixed with the slight bitterness of orange rind. The finish is quite short but there's definitely black coffee and cracked black pepper here, together with a hint of walnuts.
This is a fantastic, every day dram which is beautifully balanced and makes a great after supper sipper. Definitely one to try.