Balvenie 17 Doublewood – Blind

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We’re coming to the end of the Tapuz blind tasting competition and selection for the last few drams has been a real treat. This is number 16 (of 18) and it somewhat dashed my chances of climbing up from the bottom.

This is the older (and significantly more expensive) brother of the well known 12 year old double cask expression from the Grant Bros. owned distillery which lies right next to the larger Glenfiddich (Balvenie is to Glenfiddich as Lexus is to Toyota). Double cask essentially means that the whisky was matured in two types of casks ‘whisky oak’, probably meaning refill casks, likely ex-bourbon and ‘sherry oak’, obviously ex-sherry, probably first fill.

Aged 17 years. 43%ABV. Matured in ‘Whisky Oak’ and finished in ‘Sherry Oak’.

Nose: Raspberry powder. Orange sherbert. Waxy fruit. Nutty wood. Toasted oats.

Palate: Aggressive. Lots of pepper. Dry wood. More toasted oats. Nutty sherry. Seville oranges. Bit of an acrid superglue note.

Finish: Medium. Bitter wood. Cacao. Dry sherry. Honey. Nutty wood. Pepper.

Would I buy this: No.

Would I order this in a bar: No.

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes.

VFM: 2/5 

I really goofed on this one. There was some very aggressive spice and I was sure it was at a higher ABV than 43%. That aside the very present honey and toasted grain notes led me to believe it was much younger. So I guessed it was Glenfarclas 105. Some people in the competition liked this a lot. For me it just didn’t work. I’m no huge fan of Balvenie to begin with and this felt unbalanced and rough.

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