Review: Balvenie 12 Year Single Barrel First Fill

Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

47.8% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: First-fill ex-bourbon

Cask Info: Cask #6694, Bottle #189

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Pale straw

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Sliced green apples, honey, oats, vanilla, cider, malt, the green apple note is extremely dominate, after a few sips caramel emerges

Feel: Medium bodied

Taste: Caramel, apples, cinnamon, vanilla, light oak, honey, floral flourishes, and butter

Finish: Light to medium warmth, and medium length, oak becomes more pronounced with drying tannins, a bit of chocolate and honey with orchard fruits in the background

Thoughts: While living in the northeast I found a lot of bourbon cask aged scotches to be a bit plain and boring to my palate. Now that I am sweating my ass off on the gulf coast I am enjoying their lightness and subtleties and bit more. Very fruit dominate on the nose, proceeding to a buttery palate, and gentle oaked finish.

Score: 83 out of 100

Review: Balvenie 12 Sweet Toast of American Oak

Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

43% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in toasted virgin American oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Yes

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Honey, malt, apple, pear, citrus, vanilla, oak, and bread

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Vanilla, caramel, honey, malt, oak, apple, and butterscotch

Finish: Light warmth, short finish, yeasty bread, malt, honey, vanilla, malt

Thoughts: One of the better examples of virgin oak being used for single malt, it makes for a straight-forward profile but an enjoyable one. Finish is the weakest part.

Score: 78 out of 100

Balvenie 15 Single Barrel Sherry Cask

Balvenie 15 SB sherry

Price: $120 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

47.8% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Aged For: 15 years

Cask Type: Sherry

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: Unknown

 


 

Color: Light Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Gentle fruits, honey, heather, bit of sherry, raisins, plums

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied

Palate/Taste: The fruit become richer than the nose, with caramel, sherry and figs

Finish: Medium with slight warmth, oak and sherry are the predominate flavors

Thoughts: The sherry cask has a strong effect on the malt, giving it a heavy fruit influence.

Score: 85 out of 100

Balvenie 14 Peated Triple Cask

Balvenie 14 Peated Triple

Price: $100 for 700ml (Travel Exclusive)

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

48.3% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Aged For: 14 years

Cask Type: American oak, bourbon, and sherry

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

 


 

Color: Pale gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Gentle sherry, oak, honey, malt, and the slightest hint of smoke

Mouthfeel: Medium body

Palate/Taste: Honey, heather, gentle sherry, sultana, gentle smoke, and ginger

Finish: Gentle sweets, shorter, honey, stewed fruits, and a faint vanilla smoke

Thoughts: The peat influence is very subtle, and you have to reach for it, in that way it is inferior to the regular 14 peat week, but I do appreciate the increased level of fruitiness which makes it a slightly better drink all together, as plain bourbon cask isn’t enough for me with Balvenie’s malt.

Score: 82 out of 100

Balvenie 14 Peat Week 2002

Blavenie peat week

Paid: $100 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

48.3% ABV

Aged For: 14 Years (2002 Distillation)

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon

Chill Filtered : No

Color Added: Yes

 


 

Color: Honey

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Gentle smoke, heather, honey, vanilla, oak and floral

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Apple, honey, smoke, vanilla, heather, oak ,malt, and white pepper

Finish: Medium, lingering herbs and smoke with a hint of honey

Thoughts: The smoke here is very gentle and unobtrusive, but the underlying malt it a bit boring having just been in a bourbon cask.

Score: 83 out of 100

Balvenie 15 Single Barrel Bourbon Cask

Balvenie 15 Single barrel

Price: $120 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

47.8% ABV

Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley

Aged For: 15 Years

Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: Unknown

 


 

Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Honey, heather, floral notes, citrus, and grassy. A touch of damp oak.

Mouthfeel: Medium

Palate/Taste: Slightly bitter, with vanilla, orange peel, white pepper, rose petals, and tea.

Finish: Medium length and warmth with a bit of brown sugar and banana bread, followed by oak and heather.

Thoughts: If you like the Balvenie profile, you are most likely going to enjoy this one, but for the money there are much better options out there.

Score: 78 out of 100

Balvenie 17 DoubleWood

Balvenie 17 DoubleWood

Price: $125 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

43% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Aged For: 17 years

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in sherry casks

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Yes

 


 

Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Very gentle vanilla, chocolate and wood notes, hint of dried fruit at the end.

Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied

Palate/Taste: Malt forward, vanilla, oak, candied ginger, apple, honey

Finish: Warm, medium length. Ginger, pepper, caramel, oak, and figs.

Thoughts: The sherry cask influence isn’t overly apparent, likely due to lack of influence. I’d say it’s a decent malt, but not worth the price.

Score: 80 out of 100

Balvenie 14 Cuban Selection

Balvenie 14 Cuban Selection

Price: Discontinued

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

43% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Aged For: 14 years

Cask Type: Ex bourbon, Finished in Cuban Rum Casks

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Yes

 


 

Color: “Traditional whisky oak”

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Coconut, vanilla, pineapple, oak, rum, barley, yeasty, and heather

Mouthfeel: Light

Palate/Taste: Honey, heather, coconut, vanilla, and oak

Finish: medium warmth, honey, vanilla, caramel, coffee, and rum cake.

Thoughts: The rum casks have a definite effect on the malt, but the palate is a bit lacking, I actually enjoyed the Caribbean Cask slightly more.

Score: 80 out of 100

Balvenie 12 DoubleWood

Balvenie 12 Doublewood

Price: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

43% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Aged For: 12 years

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon and finished in sherry casks

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Yes

 


 

Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Stewed fruits, apple, caramel, vanilla, and wood.

Mouthfeel: Light and intermediate

Palate/Taste: Apple, dry sherry, ginger, cinnamon, baking spice, pie, vanilla, and caramel.

Finish: Slight warmth, lingering caramel and coffee notes.

Thoughts: It’s an easy drinking speysider, that doesn’t do anything wrong, but doesn’t reach great heights either.

Score: 78 out of 100

Balvenie 21 Portwood

Balvenie 21 port

This is the U.S. release bottled at 43 percent ABV, I think there is a NCF Travel version, and a lower proof EU and UK release.

Price: $200 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

43% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in port casks

Aged For: 21 Years

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: I don’t think so

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

 


 

Color: Dark Amber

Nose: Honey, peaches, vanilla, raisins, grape, and flavors of fruitcake.

Taste: More fruitcake flavors, cinnamon, honey, very dominate grape and wine notes. Milk chocolate.

Finish: Dab of ginger, with lemon, honey, and malted barley.

Thoughts: Not nearly as complex as I thought it would be, just a standard sweet fruity Speyside.

Score: 82 out of 100