Review #3: The Balvenie 12 Single Barrel

Sorry the picture's a lil blurry. I promise I wiped the lens first.

In keeping with my newfound Friday habit, I submit to you humble folks another review of another scotch, and it's a good one. Oddly enough, this was one of the first that I went out of my way to obtain, and was a little less than impressed with. But, I chalk that up to it being a single cask expression, which my readings tell me can vary widely from one bottling to the next. Onward and downward!


  • The Balvenie 12 Single Barrel (47.3% ABV)


$70USD purchased November 2014.


Straw, one of the lightest drams I've ever poured. In a good way, of course.


I'm greeted by a strong alcohol, and it doesn't let up. But, sticking around to find out what it's hiding, I find hints of sweetness, vanilla. Looking for more I get maybe a little toffee, some more sweetness, but it's mostly alcohol. So why not taste it and find out…


Ah, there it is, something other than alcohol. Mostly wood flavour here, very light on the tongue. There's a little peat in there as you start into it. Sweetness here, more vanilla notes. I'm surprised by how salty it tastes, given how it's equally as sweet. Low spice to the palate, given its healthy ABV. I'll note here that the palate is very balanced to me between what flavours I'm tasting.


There's some heat at the front, but it gives way quickly to a little wood and sweetness. There's some straw, maybe floral notes that linger for a while. Think I'm getting a little yellow apple here too. The finish is a little short, but not so short that I'm missing it completely.


This is a very accessible dram to me. I pour myself a second quickly because I'm enjoying it so much, and finding nothing conflicting on my tongue. I enjoy this dram, though I generally prefer more complexity. This is a scotch I'd pour during a bright summer sitting looking over a lush grassy field, under a tree. I like this and would recommend a taste. I expect it'll remain a great second choice when I empty my favourites.



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