Day Eight in the Whisky Advent Calendar

*In this series, I’m working my way through the 2015 Master of Malt Whisky Advent.

Hmmm, Balvenie. Balvenie Double Wood was the first Speyside I tried that wasn’t boring. It’s still a bit sweet for my tastes, but the double wood was an eye opener that Speyside whiskies could be wonderfully complex. Interested to try this one.


Founded by William Grant in 1893, Balvenie is a Speyside whisky located in Dufftown. Originally built near Balvenie Castle, it was founded by Grant after leaving the Mortlach distillery.

Balvenie has a really wonderful heritage and one of the best marketing and informational campaigns of any distillery in Scotland. More than once I’ve discovered fascinating things about whisky in general by watching a Balvenie produced video.

They have a really wonderful film called “Twilight of the Masters” that discusses the future of 3 Master Craftsmen, one of them being the Malt Master for Balvenie, David Stewart.

Watch the trailer at the bottom of this post.


Balvenie 15yr Single Barrel Sherry Cask still introduces itself with butterscotch and caramel just like I’d expect from a good Speyside.

Released from hand numbered casks of no more than 650 bottles, it’s a pretty special release. It’s definitely rich in the way you think of Christmas desserts being rich. Well done, beautifully presented, wonderful smell and taste, but after a few sips I feel like I’ve had just enough and now I need some salt.

It’s so sweet; I’m betting this would go amazingly with a good cigar. A cigar would allow me to enjoy the sweetness juxtaposed with the bitter. I’d probably appreciate it a bit more.

You’ll need to know that my tastes lean towards the heavy smoky whiskies, so I’m not the best or most impartial judge of Speysides. I completely understand why people would fall in love with this whisky. But for me it’s best taken in small doses like New York Cheesecake.