The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old Scotch – Review

Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old ScotchThe Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

86 Proof

Price Point: $40 – $50 for 750 ML

Distiller: The Balvenie Distillery



Sometimes you can happen upon some of your favorite things if you just keep your eyes open and accept suggestions.  I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I had never even heard of the Balvenie six months ago.

I was out with my wife (fiancee at the time) and her parents for the tasting for our wedding reception.  The maitre d’ was taking our drink orders, and I went with one of my go-to’s; Jameson.  Most bars/restaurants have it, the servers rarely confuse it with something else, and it’s genuinely a drink that I enjoy.  Being a good server, after the first drink, he had a recommendation.  He asked if I had ever had the Balvenie, to which I replied no.  He brought it out to me, and after my first taste, I asked him to repeat the name of the Scotch.  A few weeks later, I went out and bought my bottle.



The nose on this Scotch is heavenly.  It’s oaky, fruity, and florally all at once.

The only thing better than the nose of this whisky is the taste.  The oakiness comes out subtly, overshadowed by the beautiful taste of sherry.  The namesake “DoubleWood” is for its aging process; the majority of the time in traditional oak casks and a few months in sherry oak casks.  Hints of honey and leather come out as well.

The finish is warming, with touches of fruit and honey.


Rating & Recommendations

The Balvenie DoubleWood is an excellently aged Scotch, earning a rating of 86 out of 100.

All in all, this whisky is very well balanced, and a great value for its humble price tag.  If you haven’t been introduced to the Balvenie family of Scotches, I suggest you run over to your local spirits store.




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  1. I, too, love the DoubleWood. I’ve had several bottles over the years and keep coming back to it. I’ve also gifted it several times to Scotch newbies. It’s always a hit. I’ve never met anyone who even remotely likes whisky that doesn’t enjoy it. It’s just so **drinkable**. Refined enough without being serious; sweet and toffeed without being cloying. What a lovely dram…

    1. I wrote on Twitter last night that I think of it as the best “entry-level” Scotch on the market. When I look at the least-expensive offerings from Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, and Macallan, I don’t quite get the same satisfaction and perceived quality I get from the DoubleWood.

      And yes, it is the perfect whisky for gifting – who doesn’t like this stuff?


    • Enrico on April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm
    • Reply

    Up here in Canada it’s way overpriced @ $69CDN (roughly the same in USD)…but was pleasantly surprised to see it at 40USD @ the Cancun Duty Free this past weekend on my return flight home…

    Had a dram later that evening after finally having a chance to sit down and unwind…first thing that crossed my mind after my first sip was what a dope I was for only picking up 1 bottle…

    will be back in Mexico in October…will not be making the same mistake twice

    1. Hi Enrico.

      Yes, that’s a bit pricey. Glad you were able to find it elsewhere at a better price. The DoubleWood is still one of my favorite whiskeys, and I have yet to meet another enthusiast who doesn’t appreciate its quality.

      Thanks for the comment!


    • EricH on April 10, 2012 at 12:35 am
    • Reply

    Balvenie is owned and founded by the company William Grant & Sons who also founded Glenfiddich. In fact Balvenie is right next door to Glenfiddich. And even though Glenfiddich makes quality whisky, it’s almost as if Glenfiddich is intended for the beginning Scotch enthusiast while Balvenie is for those ready for the next level.

    What’s amazing is how different these two whiskies are despite being so close together.

    1. Many of the Speysiders are so close in proximity yet so different in taste and quality. It really goes to show you that the processes and aging strategies of whiskey can make a much larger impact on the end product than terroir alone.

      Thanks for the comment!


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