Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Balvenie 12 Single Barrel

Up until about a year ago, I pretty much ignored the existence of Balvenie.  Some of their malts were fine, but I'd never had anything that bowled me over.  Then last year, they blew one out of the ballpark with the Tun 1401.  Given that success, I was pretty excited to taste their newest whiskey, a 12 year old single barrel aged in first fill bourbon casks.

Balvenie 12 year old Single Barrel First Fill, 47.8% abv, Cask 12694  ($70)

The nose is a fruit bomb with pears and fruit cocktail.  The palate is fruity and malty in equal parts.  The finish is mostly malty with some cereal and cocoa.

This one is bright and fruity.  It's not overly complex but is nicely drinkable, a good edition to the Balvenie lineup and a perfect lighter whiskey for those hot summer months (along with Bladnoch).  Keep in mind, as a single barrel release, barrels may vary.



Tim Read said...

As an additional data point, I had #12696 and thought it was a little immature still - had a few punchy malt notes and some straighter alcohol notes. It was identifiably Balvenie but still seemed like a little bit more time in oak would have helped.

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask underselling the 12yr Single Barrel for $65 and less. The 14yr CC is also not overly complex, but definately not spirity/punchy and makes a nice enough sweet/easy Summer dram. IMHO. Although if price were a significant factor I'd not bother with either.

Alex said...

But Caribbean Cask is only 43%, I believe. I think the 12yr Single Barrel is over-priced, but, when you equate the alcohol level, it costs about the same as the 14yr Caribbean Cask (using $70 for the 12yr and $65 for the 14yr).

It just depends on whether you want the higher strength and single barrel.

Anonymous said...

Alex; and the CC is 2 years older with a rum cask finish and no single barrel variation. That might bore a malt geek, but might intice a malt novice. Again, if value were a significant purchase factor I'd not bother with either. Was just suggesting that CC 14 is an option worth considering as a sweet/easy/Summer malt. There are differences worth considering other than just price, ABV% and single barrelness.