A couple of years back Balvenie released a younger version of the fantastic 15yo single barrel ( bourbon cask ) the 12yo first fill single barrel was born, each bottle is drawn from a single first fill bourbon cask that has matured for at least 12years.. These bottles are quite unique in that there is only a maximum 300 bottles from each cask and all numbered by hand.. Released at 47.8% abv, these bottles do give a great insight into what Balvenie can offer..
The bottle on review is bottle 116 from cask 12798, as said it is 47.8%, it is NCF and natural colour..
Nose.. An instant sweetness caresses the nose, lots of vanilla, caramel and toffee notes along with some gentle oak and a whisper of coconut..
Palate.. Lots of wood spice, ginger and a subtle nutty flavour is wrapped in a vanilla blanket with toffee and butterscotch sweets.. Subtle stewed fruits covered in a vanilla custard with hints of maple syrup.
Finish.. A rich, spicy lingering finish.
Thoughts.. This is good, very good but I still prefer the 15yo version, it just felt more balanced and more flavoursome.. But that has gone.. This 12yo is fresh and feisty, it gives you a little more of a smack round the chops, more vanilla and quite spicy on the palate.. At close to £50 it is still just about good value although I wouldn’t want to pay a lot more.. Go on spoil yourself..