Balvenie: Double Wood (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 12 Year: 40% ABV)

Visual: Just slightly reddened gold.

Viscosity: Quite thick fast streaks.

Nose: Blackberry bramble bush. Vanilla toffee. Pencil shavings.

Body: Blueberry. Light oak Golden syrup. Slight fire. Apple crumble, Milky chocolate. Liquorice. Cake sponge.

Finish: Planed wood. Milky chocolate and caramel. Toffee. Digestive biscuits. Slight Christmas spice.

Conclusion: Damn, wish I had the chance to try this with water.  While the aroma is quite weak the body has quite a touch of fire which did work to mask the flavour.  A pity as what you do get is interesting. Blueberry fruitiness, and slight spice. A nice combination if not overly forthright.

It does seem to be aiming for a subtlety of character that the alcohol burn works against.  It is slightly dessert like with cake sponge and crumble like elements emphasising this.  Again I think water would have helped massively here – potentially make a good accompaniment to drier desserts.

As well as the fire the main flaw is the finish which seems quite short.  It’s a nice enough whisky and has a decent mix of textures and flavours.  Overall not bad and the fruit and cake (though not fruitcake) mix bodes well. As tried it is a touch lacking, but if I get the chance to revisit with water in hand I will take another look and update you.

Background: Drunk at the royal oak.  Balvenie has been ok for me so far, but never so much so that I actively seek them out.   There is a Caribbean cask release that I have had recommended to me but never seen it turn up anywhere.   The bottle refers to maturation in traditional whisky oak and sherry finish, which I take to mean apredominantly bourbon ageing before the sherry – the aforementioned “Doublewood”.  As you may have guessed already, I didn’t get the chance to add water to this whisky, A pity. Also, as you may have noticed another none too great photo. Dammit.