William Grant owns three distilleries in Dufftown: The famous Glenfiddich, the lesser known Kininvie and the Balvenie. Let’s try some of the latter…
Balvenie 12 Doublewood, 40% vol., 2015
S: 3 G: 3 P: 1 / Color: light amber / Score: 73
Delicate nose with vanilla, toffee, dried apricots and dates. There is malty notes as well and a floral overtone. On the pallate it’s really quite thin, again some vanilla and toffee. No more fruits but there is a fizzyness from the oak. With water the Whisky noses similar but there is a grassy layer appearing now. A little like cut grass in the process of drying. Feels more astringent and there is even less deph now. Long and somewhat drying finish. I would not advise adding water, but I would recommend bottling at a higher ABV though!
Balvenie 17 Doublewood, 43% vol., 2013
S: 4 G: 3 P: 1 / Color: dark amber / Score 75
More substantial nose, this time fresh apricots and their flowers. Vanilla and toffee have come to the party as well. There is a slight vegetal note, could be some Artichoke. The flavour is a lot more settled and balanced. A tad sweeter and the oak has mellowed significantly. On the palatte the apricots are slightly green, thus a little sour. Adding water brings it closer to the 12 year old. Water makes it younger! Why doesn’t that work with me? Not many changes in flavour. A lighter mouthfeel for sure and a long, drying finish. It makes me wonder if Balvenies generally don’t swim well?
No real winner today but lets see if I can find a Song that adds a new layer to the experience.