It’s not easy being an American Whiskey & Bourbon fan attempting to tiptoe into the diverse world of Scotch. The prices tend to be higher, the flavors unique and the selections broader. I try Scotches on occasion but have yet to find a bottle that I would prefer over something out of my whiskey collection…until a friend recently recommended the Balvenie DoubleWood. I was hesitant but the rumors about this being a “gateway” Scotch for Bourbon fans really made me curious.
What Makes It So Different?
You see, the Balvenie DoubleWood is a Single Malt Scotch that spends its time aging in 2 very different woods (hence the name). It starts out in traditional Oak Whiskey Casks then is moved into European First Fill Sherry Casks to finish. The Oak Barrels smooth the rough edges and the time spent finishing in Sherry casks allows the whisky to absorb a large amount of sweet / tart flavors making a really intriguing combination.
The distillery is located in Dufftown on Speyside, in Scotland and claim to be the only (and last) Single Malt Scotch Distillery to grow their own barley and use a traditional malting floor in the Scottish Highlands. Balvenie also mentions that their whisky has such a great taste because of a process they utilize referred to as “sweetening the still” where they boil juniper branches when breaking in new stills.
This is a fun Scotch to drink and wasn’t what I was expecting out of a Scotch Whisky. It’s relatively moderate in price ($47 dollars) and at only 80 Proof can be sipped without the addition of ice or water. While it’s not the first bottle I would reach for in my cabinet it has definitely earned it’s place as a staple in my collection and has helped me reconsider the place Scotch has in my life.