The Balvenie 17 Year DoubleWood Single Malt Whisky
William Grant & Sons celebrated the launch of the new Balvenie 17 year DoubleWood Single Malt Whisky recently in Houston. The occasion was celebrated in grand style as whisky enthusiasts gathered together to have their first taste of this new spirit.
The Balvenie 12 year DoubleWood has been a long-time personal favorite of mine, especially when it comes to pairing cigars. I’ve often found that regardless of my mood, this whisky works extremely well with cigars from a mild to full bodied range, and particularly well with the medium bodied styles. The maturation in American Oak and Sherry cask finishing gives the spirit much depth and a great number of characteristics that a cigar can play into without compromising either element.
When the Balvenie 17 year was announced to be a DoubleWood, needless to say they had my attention.
“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,” said Malt Master David Stewart. “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.”
The Balvenie 17 Year Old DoubleWood is an expertly proportioned single malt with distinctive rich vanilla oak, honeyed sweetness and layers of spices. On the nose, it is elegant and complex with oak, vanilla, honey and a hint of green apple. To taste, it is sweet with dried fruits, sherbet spice, toasted almonds and cinnamon, layered with a richness of creamy toffee notes and traces of oak and deep vanilla.”
I walked into the event knowing nothing about the 17 year other than the double cask finishing. I wanted my first taste to not have anything previously attached. I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect or what I thought I would want to see.
As I placed my nose a short distance above the glass, let it move away then return, and then finally take that first sip I found much surprise. My first reaction was that it was sweeter perhaps than I expected but then I began to explore it further. The green apple, as much as it is a hint is a very distinctive hint and one I must say I connected with and enjoyed. Most prominent were notes of rich vanilla and dried fruits and honey.
This is a very lovely whisky and I’m quite curious to see how it pairs with cigars. Chip Hight of Hight Cigars was present at the event and the more I think of it, I think I may just have to have a Hight Primitivo with the Balvenie 17 year DoubleWood as a first experiment. I think they will work well together as the whisky has much to offer and much to be discovered. The right cigar can often make you taste notes that were otherwise too subtle in a spirit, just as a spirit can do the same to a cigar.
Have you had your first taste of the Balvenie 17 year DoubleWood yet?