Okay, I am going to have to admit my bias at the beginning. One of my favorite single malts is the discontinued Balvenie 10y Founder’s Reserve and I dislike the other 12y, the DoubleWood. So, the fact that the 12y Signature is a replacement for one of my trusty old drams, is not a good start …
On the other hand, this picks up nearly where the 10y left off. In the tradition that the Balvenie Distillery has created recently, its nose is very complex! While being mainly rich and malty, it has touches of vanilla, dried fruit, and sherry. Again, like all Balvenies, it is full-bodied. One can get lost in the interplay of honey, christmas spices, vanilla, oak, and sherry … just give it some time to open-up and everyone can find something that they enjoy in this whisky. It is rare that a Balvenie lets down on the finish and this one is a classic – long, warm, with a good touch of oak.
If I can no longer have the 10y, this is a very good replacement … so good, that given a few years, I may even forget about the 10y!
As with the best Balvenies, this one is a well-constructed glass … perfectly balanced, complicated, and very tasty!
(First tasted at St John’s on 20 Feb 09)