- 86 Proof
- 17 Years
- 17 Years
This is one of those bottles that, though inviting it may be, is not one that I had ever really envisioned buying myself. Luckily for me, however, I was gifted one, so I got to give the Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year a go.
It's apparently called "Doublewood" due to its having spent time in two different casks. It first spent "many years" in traditional whisky casks and is then matured in oak sherry casks. I'm not really sure the amount of time it spent in either type of barrel, though.
The nose is heavy on the sherry influence. It's very fruity in aroma, almost like a sangria, where you get the mix of red wine with fresh orange and apple. However, that aroma is complemented by sweet tobacco leave and vanilla, making for a very complex and very intriguing nose.
As would be expected, on the palate the whisky is smooth as silk--almost TOO easy to drink, as each glass seemed to go down very easily. The traditional maltiness is there, blended nicely with vanilla and walnut, but it quickly gives way to the prominent fruit notes. Though it didn't taste like the sangria I got from the nose, it was almost a mix of raisin and strawberry (perhaps that's hard to imagine, but that's what struck me as I drank this).
There's a mile spice that lingers, along with the vanilla and dark fruit flavors, for a bit on the finish, but unfortunately that's as long as it stayed--only for a bit. The finish, while sweet and lightly spice and very enjoyable, was also very short. Perhaps this is due to the more watery texture of this whisky, something I didn't necessarily expect given its age.
Interestingly, about halfway through the bottle, the flavors seemed to blend a bit into more of a dark chocolate flavor, which went very well with that strawberry and raisin combo I mentioned. I really enjoyed this slight metamorphosis, and what's more, that chocolate note seemed to linger longer than the other flavors, seeming to last even after the other flavors had dissipated.
All in all, there was a lot going on in this whisky, and, as far as flavor goes, it was all incredible. It had fruity notes balanced well with chocolate and vanilla notes, balanced well with a slight spiciness. My only knock is the low proof and watery texture, but that's a mild complaint considering the wonderful blend of flavor in this bottle.