One of my favorite drams is The Balvenie. I don’t think I’ve ever had a less than excellent dram from The Balvenie, and that is as much due to their commitment to quality as anything else. The Balvenie actually grows their own barley, still does its own malting on traditional floor maltings and has both coopers and a coppersmith on site to tend to the barrels and stills.
Perhaps my favorite expression has been The Balvenie Doublewood 12 yr. Aged in American oak whiskey barrels, then finished in European oak sherry casks, this whisky is simply a great dram. When The Balvenie Doublewoood 17yr was announced, I couldn’t wait to taste it, and, I have to say, it is an outstanding whisky.
I’ll be quite frank, this last weekend was a tough weekend, so much so that I couldn’t wait for Monday to come. On Sunday night, I was debating a nightcap and decided that instead of holding on to the sample that I received of The Balvenie Doublewood 17 yr as I usually do for review, I’d have just a wee dram before bed. It turned out to be the best thing that happened that weekend and literally sent me to bed with a smile on my face. The Balvenie Doublewood 17 year is a classic single malt whisky and I can’t imagine ever not having a bottle in my whisky collection. Its that good.
The nose on this whisky is complex, exotic and enticing. Vanilla, honey, tropical flowers and almond appear over a nice oak undertone. On the palate, this dram truly shines with a smorgasbord of flavors ranging from orange marmalade, chocolate, marzipan and spice notes before giving way to a truly enjoyable finish characterized by cinnamon, orange peel and clove before a final, honeyed oak flavor lifts off of the tongue. This is truly a memorable dram and perhaps Master Distiller David Stewart’s finest effort yet.
I’m looking forward to tasting this whisky with my father-in-law soon. After all, I figure that he introduced me to the world of single malts, the least I can do is let him taste some of the great discoveries that I’ve made. And this, The Balvenie Doublewood 17 yr, well, this is definitely a single malt to treasure.