NOSE: the spices have muted a bit
Hibiki 17 year old
What?! Another Blend??!! That’s correct ladies and gentlemen. The Hibiki 12 year old’s older brother shows up and definitely brings its “A” game.
COLOR: Orange amber with red edges
NOSE: Deeper oak right off the bat, then gobs of caramelized sugar and stewed red fruit like plums, raspberries and fuji apples. Even with all those heavier aromas you can still dive through and find the light floral and vanilla accents. The addition of water brings a slight rubbing alcohol nose but the sweet freshly baked sticky buns brings you back for more.
PALATE: Much more woody than the 12 year old, astringent around the extremities of the tongue. Hold onto the glorious liquid for 17 seconds before swallowing and you’ll be rewarded with plums, vanilla, spice and candied orange peel.
FINISH: Beautiful length to this spirit. It’s a wonderful blend, tasting like you just bit into a red delicious apple
There aren’t many distributors of the Hibiki 17, but going through Master of Malt will bypass any issues of not being able to find it in your area…unless you can’t have spirits delivered to your state…sorry. This is a great blend and if you like the Hibiki line then you should definitely add it to your cabinet.
This bottle is a little… lacking? Disappointing? Awkward?
COLOR: medium brown gold
NOSE: Granny Smith apples up front, sweet vanilla
PALATE: lacking and too smooth, more like scotch flavored water than a 16 year old three cask specimen 😦
FINISH: delicious and amazingly fruity, buttery on the tongue
NOSE: a little less sweet, a little more spice
PALATE: almost like a scotch that forgot to be a scotch, the spice and flavor is almost invisible
FINISH: is full of spice this time and still buttery
It’s kind of a strange dram. Doubly so when compared to the Caribbean Cask and the Doublewood we’ll be reviewing soon.
The palate wasn’t smooth like the blended Hibiki which is smooth but full of subtle flavors worth deciphering.
And it’s certainly not as friendly as the Balvenie Caribbean Cask and it’s brown sugar bubble gum handshake with your tongue.
This Balvenie is just an oddball.
The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year
COLOR: Orange, rust and toasted wheat
NOSE: A lot of sherry on the nose, followed by cherry/fruit capri-sun. It’s a very light nose and still a distinct fig spirit comes through, maybe to the detriment of the spirit. So far, an okay start.
PALATE: Woodsy sherry with a very light balanced smoke. A sourness comes through after some light spice, like chewing on a toothpick and not knowing when enough is enough. Water opens up vanilla extract, round bosc pear, mint/spearmint and oddly enough, cabbage.
FINISH: It’s a medium to short finish, laden with spice, smoke and sherry.
This is a perfect example of a scotch that really showcases that not everyone loves a highly rated scotch. I will never buy another bottle of this 12 year old DoubleWood ever again. I don’t enjoy it and I feel like, especially for the price, it doesn’t bring anything to the table. The Balvenie is a great distillery and this might just be a poor showing or an unfortunate bottling.
Don’t be discouraged!! Where there is a bad scotch, there is a great bottle right behind it…look…There it is! Don’t see it? Just come back for another review by scotch N sniff!