The Balvenie 12yr DoubleWood – a tale of two noses.

Speyside – 43%ABV – 750ml – $35-40 | £30 | €36

Balvenie week, Day #4.

Alright, we’re coming down the pike here.  Only two days left of The Balvenie week.  I’ve decided to save my favorite Balvenie whiskies for the last two days.

Here, on our fourth day, I am featuring what is quite possibly one of the best bang-for-your-buck whiskies out today.  Full, rich in character and in flavor and… for only $35-$40??  Come on.

There are other bang-for-your-buck whiskies out there and I think that the good folks over at do a great job with their top 40 whiskies under $40 series.  Check it out (then come back).

Also, as an aside and with regards to The Balvenie DoubleWood, this whisky was my good friend Gal Granov’s (Whisky Israel) gateway dram.  You can read about it here in this interview with him on

As with my other Balvenie Week posts –  before we get to my review of today’s whisky, please sit back and enjoy this exclusive video with a very special employee of The Balvenie (please note that my saying this is not meant to imply that the other Balvenie workers we’ve shown aren’t special) – today’s guest is Dennis McBain, Coppersmith for The Balvenie for nearly 51 years.  You can read more about Dennis here and here.  I am very honored that he agreed to be recorded for this series.  Dennis, thank you.

Now, my review of Dennis’ favorite Bavenie expression, the DoubleWood:

On the nose A tale of two noses.

Initial few whiffs offer up great (though not overwhelming) sherried notes filled with chocolates & licorice.  

Better yet, chocolate covered licorice (yes, it exists).

Wine soaked raisins.

Right beside these scents I get notes of a full jar of honey and cup of vanilla tea.

Clove laden orange.

On the mouth Succulent.

Warm.  Warming.

Chewy toffees and warm butter.

Boston baked beans (the candy coated peanuts).

More sugared nuts.

Finish Baklava.  Walnuts.  Medium length.

In sum A solid… let me rethink then restate this…  Beyond a “solid” whisky, it’s a must have.

Inexpensive and interesting enough to give to your guests who have the occasional whisky (perhaps this one will turn them into whisky geeks – as mentioned, that’s how it happened for Gal of Whisky Israel), complex enough for the whisky connoisseur, easy enough to be an every day drinker.