When I started off on planning my trip to the UK, I started a list of whisky I’d like to buy. And one of the ones I was very interested in was the Balvenie 17 year DoubleWood.
Why? Well the 12 year was good, and the price in Ontario was a little insane compared to the price in the UK. Then I bought a metric shite ton of minis instead, so I ordered a dram at one of the places I went to (honestly can’t remember which bar, I drank a lot).
This one, like the 12 year DoubleWood, was made by David Stewart to celebrate his creation of the 12 year. Given more time in each the American Oak Casks and the European Oak Sherry Casks, this is meant to have deeper flavours and really pump up the original flavours from the 12 year.
Price: $185.95 (CAD)
Colour: Dark gold
Nose: Vanilla, apricot upside down cake, tobacco, sweet wine, cinnamon, prune
Very sweet, nice apricot cakey flavour that devolves into a mixture of tobacco, purple fruit, and spice. Wish it was stronger, though Balvenie tends to have a low alcohol content that can lead to some inconsistency. I’m somewhat surprised, given this is to celebrate the 12 year’s success, that the Balvenie 17 year DoubleWood doesn’t have a higher (at least 46%) Abv.
Taste: Smooth, dry, blackberry, butter, cream, nutmeg, cherry, sea water, honey
Very smooth, and the flavour starts slowly trickling out. Subtle fruit notes pair with the usual Balvenie honey. Very nice.
Finish: Dry cherry, lime, pear, salty weak jerky, cranberry
The finish is a little basic and one note for me, though it’s nice. The weak jerky was a surprise, so that was nice.
Conclusion: I was expecting to be blown away by this one, and have it make up for the hype around the 12 year, which I had again in preparation. It’s still just a double casked, okay whisky, yet this one has a stronger amount of flavours. The Balvenie honey is still home, the sherry fruit is still sour, and the vanilla from the oak still shows up to raid the pantry, er, nose. All in, all, it’s good, and I’d probably own a bottle if it wasn’t so expensive.
Scotch review #85, Speyside review #25, Whisky Network review #110