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The Balvenie Doublewood

June 2009 By James 10 Comments

The-Balvenie-12YO-lg.jpg When I decided to start stocking my bar at home with a collection of single malts, I referenced my experience tasting single malts at the many bars I’ve worked at over the last decade. I enjoy drinking heavily peated mosters like Lagavulin and Laphroaig after a long hard night when things are moving towards after-hours. For relaxation at home, I would like to turn to a savory, smooth and sweet malt. The Balvenie Doublewood was an obvious choice.

The Balvenie distillery was named after the adjacent Balvenie Castle in Dufftown(Speyside). The castle dates from the 13th century, the ditillery from 1892. Even the Malt Master at The Balvenie is historic: David Stewart is the longest serving distiller in Scotland at over 45 years.

What makes the Doublewood unique is its two stage aging, where 12 year old whiskey in bourbon barrels is transferred to sherry casks for a few months to finish it, similar to Glenmorangie Lasanta. The Balvenie describes thier Doublewood as smooth and mellow, with beautifully combined flavours ~ nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry. Other reviews of The Balvenie Doublewood can be found at For Peat Sake, Rocky’s Cigar Blog, Humiblog, Chatterwocky and Oak and Smoke.

Balvenie Castle

Balvenie Castle

A common element of Doublewood reviews is its accesibilty and smoothness. My own perceptions of this scotch are a little different. The caramel sweetness on the nose is simply delicious, in fact I never rinse my glass after finishing because the next day the smell in the glass makes me crave toffee in my coffee. The taste continues to echo these sweet woody notes. It feels very mouthfilling, more about richness than refreshing. The finish is also rich, with a deep warm burn that follows the whiskey all the way to your stomach more than other single malts . This burn is the one element of Doublewood that I grow tired of, although I recognise that many view the accompanying finish and flavours as justifying the warmth.  The Balvenie Doublewood is bottled at 40% alc/vol.

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  • The Balvenie Doublewood - Puff Cigar Discussion Forums said:

    [...] Doublewood A friend of mine just posted up a nice review of the Balvenie Doublewood. Enjoy! Scotch Reviews – The Balvenie Doublewood | The Aspiring Gentleman __________________ Like Scotch & Cigars? Check out The Aspiring [...]

  • The Scotch Whisk(e)y Tasting Notes Thread - Puff Cigar Discussion Forums said:

    [...] a great Speyside, and one that many consider their favourite. A buddy of mine wrote a more thorough review on my blog. __________________ Like Scotch & Cigars? Check out The Aspiring [...]

  • lawschooldrunk said:

    I have no idea why Balvenie stopped making this and instead replaced it with the signature bottling. This is my second to favorite balvenie (favorite is, believe it or not, the 10yr, and the 15yo takes third). And, at $35 a bottle in my area, I can’t go wrong!

  • An Introduction to Scotch Whisky | Primer said:

    [...] sherry casks, making it complex yet delicious. This is one of my favourites; so much so that I’ve reviewed it in the [...]

  • Larry said:

    I believe Balvenie “Doublewood” is bottled at 43%. Excellent Scotch.

  • Luke - AspiringGentleman said:

    Interesting. I did a little looking around, and it appears that older bottlings were done at 43%, but more recent bottlings are at 40%. I had no idea, thanks for the insight!

  • 40 Whiskies Under $40: Balvenie Double Wood | Whisky Party said:

    [...] TheAspiringGentleman finds more alcohol burn at 40% than I did at 43%.  He did get some of the same mouthful feel and delicous caramel (he doesn’t even wash the glasses so he can nose the next day). Share and Enjoy: [...]

  • Olga Goldin said:

    The Balvenie Portwood 21 Year Old won the Silver Medal in the Ultra Premium Scotch category and the Gold Medal in the Single Malt 18-24 category at the 2010 International Whisky Competition! Check put these videos!!!

  • Jason's Scotch Whisky Reviews said:

    It’s hard to believe (but I guess true) that it is transferred to sherry casks for a few months following years in oak. I say it is hard to believe because it is quite sherried in taste. If you like a sherried dram, you will enjoy this one.

  • The Balvenie Golden Cask 14 | The Aspiring Gentleman said:

    [...] being aged inside is a 14 year old, which slots this nicely between the 12 year Signature and Doublewood on one end and the 15 Single Cask on the other. I’ve read that this is a product for Duty [...]

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Keywords: Balvenie Castle, bourbon barrels, caption, common element, David Stewart, decade, Doublewood, element, home, malt, scotland, single malts, whiskey, woody notes