Located in the Scottish region of Speyside, right outside Dufftown, The Balvenie has been crafting great malts since 1892.
It was first opened by William Grant and remains in the company’s capable hands to this day.
It is one of the few distilleries to have its own malting floor and sources its hand cut peat locally. The floor maltings also supply neighbour and William Grant family member Glenfiddich as well.
The Balvenie has won several awards for their efforts and produce some incredible malt with a subtle peated quality.
Their Doublewood 12 Year Old is a core expression at The Balvenie. This malt has been matured in the usual American Oak cask and was then transferred for finishing in first fill European Oak sherry casks.
These barrels both lend different qualities to the malt and make for a well-rounded and satisfying dram.
From the very beginning of the nose the sherry casks become obvious and make themselves known.
They add a sweet and fruity tone, filled with apples and pears and a healthy dose of cinnamon.
The spiciness is given depth from the oak that takes on a sweet honeyed character. The honey and cinnamon work well together and their combination results in a nice floral hint.
On the palate, the oak becomes nuttier in flavour, with sweet hazelnuts and pecans appearing. These are complemented by the honey and cinnamon and the flavours work wonderfully together.
The spice is ever present and gives warmth to the slightly peated note in the background. This is not an overwhelming flavour but ties in gently.
The sherry itself sets a nice undertone for the rest of the flavours in the palate. It is strong but does not take over, allowing all the other flavour to play themselves out.
The sherry is there again in the finish, where is takes the lead but does not over stay its welcome.