The Balvenie Brothers

Balvenie Brothers.jpg

Please take into account that these are my personal tasting notes and personal experience, as such you may interpret this whisky very differently from me.

I recently reached 500 followers on my Twitter Page and I decided to celebrate by buying The Balvine Tasting Pack from Sainsbury’s. It comprised of 3 5cl samples – Doublewood 12yr, Caribbean Cask 14yr and Doublewood 17yr. By coincidence I also bought these on the same day that David Stewart received an MBE his services to the Scotch whisky industry – so it was a double celebration!

As well as uploading individual tasting notes for each sample I also wanted to take the chance to do a direct comparison of the three. Now I don’t normally touch ratings for whiskies as I A) Can’t fully get my head around the whole out of 100 rating system most people use and B) I think whisky tasting is all a bit too subjective for me to try and rate. However for the purposes of this article I’m going to rate these 1st, 2nd and 3rd in order to give a direct comparison.

 

DoubleWood 12yr:

Balvenie 12yr

Full tasting notes can be found here.

Nose and Palate:

Sweet, creamy, chocolate and praline with plenty of oak and a good mix of spice.

Cost:

At around £35 a bottle this is an excellent dram for the price.

Overall:

An excellent dram. A good mix of flavours with plenty of depth without any one flavour being overpowering. Considering the depth to this whisky and the price it’s certainly a must try.

 

Caribbean Cask 14yr:

Balvenie 14yr

Full tasting notes can be found here.

Nose and Palate:

Sweet, creamy, custard, vanilla, oak, a touch of spice and subtle fruit.

Cost:

At around £40 – £45 a bottle this is again well priced malt.

Overall:

Another great dram from Balvenie. Worth taking the time to add it to rum casks to add an extra level to the flavour. Not only worth a try but one I certainly plan on adding to my collection in the near future.

 

DoubleWood 17yr:

Balvenie 17yr

Full tasting notes can be found here.

Nose and Palate:

Sweet, vanilla, toffee, oak with a slight fruit tang.

Cost:

At around £70 a bottle it’s quite a jump compared to the 12yr and 14yr and worth keeping that in mind if you plan on buying a bottle of The Balvenie.

Overall:

A very enjoyable and complex dram from Balvenie. Although in my opinion not quite worthy of a £70 price tag when compared to the 12yr or the 14yr.

 

Rating:

 

Drum roll please!…..

 

1st:

Caribbean Cask 14yr

It had an added dimension compared the 12yr no doubt both from the extra 2 years spent maturing and that last spell in a rum cask. I’m not normally prone to recommending a whisky but this is one I feel is certainly worth giving a go.

2nd:

DoubleWood 12yr

An excellent standard for a collection. It’s got a good depth of flavour for a very reasonable price. Again one that I would recommend trying although if you plan to go out and buy only one of these I’d suggest the Caribbean Cask 14yr.

3rd:

DoubleWood 17yr

Another very good and complex dram from Balvenie. As with the 12yr and 14yr it offers a similar base line but with enough definition to make it distinct form the pack. That said I personally found it didn’t quite have enough oomph to  deserve a £70 price tag, particularly not when compared to the 12yr and especially to the 14yr. Worth trying? Definitely! Worth buying over the 12yr or 14yr? Probably not, especially considering you could pick up a bottle of 12yr and 14yr for only slightly more than one bottle of 17yr.

 

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