Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year – Review

Balvenie 3

My adventure through the world of Balvenie whisky continues today with the elder brother of the DoubleWood family: The 17 Year Old. I must admit I struggle with the lighter, softer, sweeter side of the world of Scotch. I’m a fan of bruiser, high proof, in-your-face, complex tipples. While when I’m in the right mood I can go for a soft, pleasant whisk(e)y I am not often in such a mood. I’m open to suggestions from you, my faithful audience, on tipples which are on the softer, sweeter side but which may find a liking from a rye and peat loving tippler like myself. Feel free to use the dram we are examining today as a guide for your suggestions and let me know in the comments section what you think. Because, all that being said, I really like the tipple we are examining today. So, without further adieu, here it is…


Distiller: Balvenie

Owner: William Grant & Sons

Location: Dufftown, Scotland (Speyside)

Age: 17 Years Old

ABV: 43%

Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley (Single Malt)

Price: $120-130*


Amber with a caramel hue. Definitely darker than the 12 year old but still light. I don’t mind though because all-too-often Scotch whiskies have artificial coloring.


This is fruit and spice and everything nice. In the field of fruit I get pears, apples, peaches, and black cherries. A fruit basket upset. In the realm of spice I get cinnamon and all-spice. Coming alongside these notes I get oak, honey, and a bit of malt. A great start.


The palate is fruit dominant. I get fresh and dried black cherries, dried cranberries, and raisins, and a bit of apple. Mixed in there are notes of cinnamon, honey, and a bit of oak. There is also just a tiny bit of malt. I’m really surprised by how the fruit character of these Balvenies almost completely overshadow the malt notes.


On the long side of medium. Very pleasant and warming. Slight malt. Oak, char, vanilla, and caramel last to the end.


The value is hard to judge. I would totally buy another tasting set, but would I buy a full bottle? Maybe. I like it more than the 12 year. But, unless I could find it at or below $100 I would pass. There are too many other drams I would rather have a full bottle of at or below that price point. But, that is my opinion. You really need to determine value for yourself.


I really like this Scotch. It takes the character of the 12 year up a notch or two. I like that the spice characteristics are more evident and that the fruit notes are more powerful. However, I don’t think this is a ‘buy-a-bottle’ Scotch for me. But, it is a ‘buy a pour at the bar when I’m in the mood’ Scotch. If you’ve had this Scotch let me know what you think in the comments section. If there is a tipple produced by Balvenie you absolutely love and I have not reviewed it yet, let me know in the comments section and I’ll check it out and let you know what I think. As always, thanks for following and…Cheers!


87/100 (A Solid Tipple)

Balvenie 4

*Disclaimer: I bought a sample bottle of this tipple for my review. I have not been paid by Balvenie for this review and all opinions and comments are 100% my own. Your experience may vary if you purchase a full size bottle of this fine dram. Cheers!


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