Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
Available in the US and UK from November for £75, The Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year Old (43% abv) is the elder sibling to Doublewood 12 Year Old, The Balvenie’s highest volume expression.
According to William Grant & Sons, the new, aged version shares the same “honeyed, spicy characteristics” as the 12 Year Old, but has “deeper vanilla notes, hints of green apple, creamy toffee and a striking richness and complexity”.
For Doublewood, whisky is first matured in American oak barrels to “impart soft sweet vanilla notes” before being transferred to European oak sherry casks to add “rich spicy flavours”, “depth and fullness of flavour”.
Malt Master David Stewart, who this year celebrated his 50th year at the distillery, said: “It has been a real pleasure to create the DoubleWood 17 Year Old and I am delighted with the way it has turned out, as I hope Balvenie enthusiasts will be.
"Wherever I travel in the world, Doublewood 12 Year Old is the expression that people are most likely to have enjoyed.
"It is also one of the whiskies I am most proud of when I look back over my 50 years at the distillery, which is why it has been so exciting to create this new older version.”
Andrew Forresterm, UK brand ambassador of The Balvenie said: “In completing the new core range of The Balvenie, we have an engaging and exciting collection of malts both for those starting out on their journey of whisky discovery and for connoisseurs alike.”