The Balvenie 12 YO – The Sweet Toast of American Oak

ABV: 43 %
Single malt
Bottles in collection:
Emptied bottles:

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and oaky. At first a mix of honey, vanilla and oak sits on top of a sweet and fruity mix of oranges and malt. Black liquorice creates an outer layer surrounding everything else. It’s very mild and inviting, but the oakiness is sort of overpowering it to a certain extent. With time in the glass the oranges increase in intensity and try to break through the heavy oak. A hint of cinnamon starts to emerge from the background too. This is a decent nose, but it sort of hides the Balvenie character, which is a pity.

Mouth: It starts out with a mix of herbs and spices, but soon reverts back to being sweet and oaky. Vanilla, honey and malt are making up the main body, but the oak is like a blanket on top. The oranges and orange peel are sitting in the background. There’s a butterscotch note coming through as well, but it’s not very protruding. With time the oak increases in intensity and the whole thing is a bit astringent and dry.

Finish: It starts out with the bitter notes of orange peel and oak, but it quickly reverts back to being over oaked. It’s very ”bitey”, astringent and dry and the whole finish is nothing but oak. It’s a nice enough wood flavour, but it gets a little boring after a few sips. There are some vanilla and honey notes within the oakiness, but they are more of a integrated part and get lost in there. This is not the best Balvenie out there, but it certainly reflects what it says on the bottle very well.

Additional information
This release is a part of the ”Balvenie Story Range”. It’s first aged for 12 years in refill ex-bourbon casks and then finished in heavily charred virgin american oak casks.

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