Balvenie DoubleWood 12-year Single-Malt Scotch

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12-year single-malt Scotch earns a solid 76 percent on the VLO Satisfaction Index; it's a decent malt that is thinner than it should be.

Balvenie Distillery

Balvenie single-malt Scotches are produced by William Grant & Sons, Speyside, Scotland — in the shadow of Balvenie Castle.

The Stats

  • Age … 12-year
  • Variety … Single-malt Scotch whisky
  • Region … Speyside, Scotland
  • Price Point … $45

The Vendor’s Claim

  • “The Balvenie DoubleWood is a 12 year old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two woods. Over its period of maturation it is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first fill European oak sherry cask. Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt ~ the traditional casks soften and add character, whilst the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour.”  TheBalvenie.com.

The Experience

  • Appearance & Aroma … The initial aroma from the bottle was understated: It did not fill the room with the scent of Scotch, but it did have a softer and gentler nose than I had anticipated. Color is an orange-amber. 7/10
  • First Sip … Initial impression — thinness. Not weakness, per se, but thinness, as if it were less viscous than I’d expect a Scotch to be. The first sip went down smoothly, though, with a respectable degree of balance; no single flavor disrupted the harmony of the whole. 6/10
  • Flavor … Mild smokiness permeated the flavor, which — again — was rather understated. Hints of licorice and orange with a spicy tinge. 8/10.
  • Aftertaste … Warm and pleasant, with flavors on the front of the tongue reminiscent of black cardamom. Aftertaste subsided after an appropriate amount of time.  8/10
  • Bottom of the Bottle … This Scotch remained consistent throughout. 9/10

The Reflection

  • The Balvenie brand is jealously guarded by its distiller, and for good reason. This single-malt Speyside Scotch is smooth as an infant’s buttocks and considerably more tasty.  It does not overpower, although perhaps it could be stronger — but for the price, it’s a decent Scotch.

The VLO Satisfaction Index

  • This Scotch scores a 76 percent satisfaction rating. The Balvenie DoubleWood delivers solid performance. It does not lead the pack, but nor does it lag toward the rear.

Reviewed by Jason Gillikin.

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About jason

Jason is the principal of Gillikin Consulting, a business-media and ethics consultancy based in Grand Rapids, Mich.