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Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

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Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby tuddy24 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:31 am

Hi all,

What a bummer. I hear a lot of good things about this SM and decided to pick it up while I was at the local wine and spirits store. Before I blast this scotch, let me tell you what's been good to me and why.

Glenlivet 12 / $27 - My first SM. Light and fresh, complex and just delicious. I'm glad I started here.

Highland Park 12 / $40 - Sweet, smoky and citrus-y with a long finish of what burnt twigs and leaves might taste like.

Macallan 12 / $40 - Big and bold sherry/woody notes but complex and smooth. I like this one more every time I sip it.

Glenfiddich 15 Solera Reserve / $35. Delicious, some interesting burnt sugar, orangey tasting, tobacco like finish. This is great stuff.

To the Balvenie. For the above SM's, simply sniffing the opened bottle was enjoyable and inviting, but with the Balvenie.....nothing. Maybe a little wood but nothing but question marks. Pouring a bit into a Glencairn glass and waiting 5 minutes or so....nothing much. What the heck is going on here? So I take a sip and....some wood, faint bourbon like character, no acidity to speak of. Oh yeah and the alcohol felt out of control. In wine terms, this scotch is "flabby" and "hot" and quite honestly sucks. Did I get a bad bottle? Does anyone else share my opinion? I did this tasting 2 days in a row and still came to the same conclusion. I also re-tasted a bit of each of the above SM's to verify it wasn't me having an off day. The funny part was that after tasting the Balvenie, the other SM's tasted even better, appeared more complex, and felt way smoother!

-Pete
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby Megawatt » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:55 am

I will say that the last time I had Doublewood was not nearly as impressive as the first time. I remember getting incredible chocolate-orange flavours on my first tasting, and asking the bartender, "What's this stuff called again?" I absolutely loved it. It was only the second or third Scotch I had tried and it blew me away.

I had some recently, and like you found it a little flat. I would not say that it sucked but it lacked the flavour I had remembered.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby AZmalt » Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:16 am

I haven't had doublewood in a few years but I remember the chocolate-orange already mentioned, and woody flavors in general with some sherry sweetness. I never remembered it being hot, flabby and sucking.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby Ganga » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:12 am

The current bottle of DW is fabulous. It's very dry. Then again, it is likely that this is the best particular vatting of the DW. At times this can be overly sweet. But not the current one I have. I would suggest it is your vatting.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby johan brugge » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:51 pm

I've had a dram of Balvenie Double Wood a few weeks ago. It's not my kind of whisky but I picked up the usual Balvenie characteristics. Full flavoured, butter scotch, honey etc. So yes, maybe it's your vatting.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby orangedogofglory » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:17 am

No complaints here. I've always enjoyed the palate and range of flavors, and haven't really experienced any "hot" drams. So maybe just your bottle? Which is possible - if the nose was inviting it is plausible that it could be a whale of a nose but a minnow of flavor.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby pkt77242 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:48 am

While Balvenie DW is not a great malt to me, I have never had one that was unflavorsome. Hmm, bad bottle or batch? Let it sit for a month or two and then revisit it and see if it has changed.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby hyperfuji » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:06 am

i thought the dw was interesting for the price, but agree the hp12 is more complex and my choice of the two at the price. like the guys posted above said, it could be the vatting. you might want to try a dram from a kind friend who has another bottle. could be the vatting or it just may not be for you
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby Dubois » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:35 am

If comparing prices, I always prefered Balvenie 10 Yrs, Founder's Reserve.
It's a shame it is so hard to find it :(
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby 37degrees » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:52 pm

This is the replacement: 12 years signature
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby Ganga » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:58 am

I think the FR is a fine beverage but prefer the DW. I am not at all thrilled with the Signature Batch 1. As for the HP 12, I wouldn't say that it is that much more complex. The particular batch I have right now is actually much sweeter than usual.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby Bruichladdict » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:42 am

If I'm not mistaken, the Balvenie did change the packaging text to change from "a second maturation in sherry oak" to "a further few months in sherry casks". Some of us have wondered what exactly this means...is the finishing period shorter now...this might explain your vatting.

The last time I enjoyed the DW, it was lovely. I'm now reticent to pick up another bottle!
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby tuddy24 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:18 am

Bruichladdict wrote:If I'm not mistaken, the Balvenie did change the packaging text to change from "a second maturation in sherry oak" to "a further few months in sherry casks". Some of us have wondered what exactly this means...is the finishing period shorter now...this might explain your vatting.

The last time I enjoyed the DW, it was lovely. I'm now reticent to pick up another bottle!


All,

Thank you for all of your comments, my bottle says "a second maturation in sherry oak" but since I never had the original I have nothing to compare with. I did however receive this e-mail from a rep which made me happy:

Dear Mr. Fountotos,


Thank you for your recent communication regarding a bottle of Balvenie 12yo Doublewood Malt Whisky.


Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.
I write now to confirm that a full investigation into this matter is currently being conducted.



To enable us to carry out the investigation, if you still have the sample, I would be obliged if you could inform me of your address so that I can arrange for our distributor in your area to send you a replacement bottle and uplift the offending sample for us to analyse.



In the meantime, thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. I hope that you will continue to enjoy and support our company's products.

Yours sincerely,


Janet Andrew
Quality Team Member
William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd
Direct +44 1698 57 3595

Since I work in a lab and we do FA all the time, this sounds really cool!

-Pete
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby Gearóidmuar » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:16 am

There are two possibilities here, I think.
1. One's taste does vary from day to day, and it's also influenced by your mind. If you didn't enjoy the first glass, you may be subconsciously influenced by that fact subsequently.
2. You did get a bad bottle. I believe that such happens. One of my favourite whiskeys is :P Tyrconnell :P , of which I've drunk at least 20 bottles down the years. The second last one was horrible. I didn't enjoy it and thought that my taste might have changed. I decided, however, to get another bottle to try it one last time. Gorgeous as before.

Personally, I love BDW. It's one of my favourite Scotches.
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Re: Balvenie Doublewood Disappointing

Postby lockejn » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:59 pm

Pete, please keep us informed of your experience. Would certainly be nice to hear any conclusions they might come to after analysis of your sample - if they share such with you.
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