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Aberfeldy 12 vs Balvenie 12: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Aberfeldy 12 vs Balvenie 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Aberfeldy 12

aberfeldy-12-year-single-malt
  • Nose: Honey, toffee, vanilla, pear.
  • Palate: Caramel, apple, citrus.
  • Finish: Spicy oak, roasted nuts.

The nose is subtle and sweet with hints of honey and caramel up-front, followed by vanilla and pear.

On the palate, the Aberfeldy 12 displays a creamy body providing a good mouthfeel. Flavor is sweet and rich in caramel, with hints of apple, citrus and a fair amount of oak spice bringing balance to the sweetness.

There is a tiny tad of smoke that is barely noticeable.

The finish has a decent length, with a bit of a bite, but nothing extreme, with some oak spice to it and a roasted nuts hint.

Aberfeldy will not blow you away with strong flavors, remarkable and memorable tasting notes and is not something to get too excited over but it’s nevertheless an enjoyable dram; its price makes it interesting.

Overall, Aberfeldy 12 is a good introductory bottle to single malt whisky, it’s reasonably pricedwell rounded with nothing outstanding yet nothing off-putting.

The best way of drinking the Aberfeldy is by adding a few drops of water, just a splash of water is enough to open-up the whisky releasing nice aromas while tuning-down warmth and spicy notes.

It offers an approachable flavor profile that stacks up well with better-known brands.

Learn how it compares to the Ardbeg 10!

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).

  • Aberfeldy is aged in a combination of Sherry, Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks.
  • Gold medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

  • Aberfeldy Distillery was founded by the John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. in 1896, is located on the eastern outskirts of Aberfeldy.

  • The distillery is one of two single malt distilleries that comprise the Dewar’s blend.

  • Aberfeldy is a Highland Whisky. This region offers an enormous diversity of flavors and characters. From lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts.

Balvenie 12 DoubleWood

balvenie-12-doublewood
  • Nose: Ripe fruit, sherry, honey, vanilla.
  • Palate: Mixed nuts, citrus peel, vanilla, cinnamon, sherry.
  • Finish: Malty, oak spice, vanilla.

Balvenie 12 is quite aromatic as it delivers a strong scent rich in ripe fruit, sherry, along vanilla and honey.

On the palate, it provides a good mouthfeel as the body feels creamy. Flavor is has a hint of mixed nuts, along citrus peel, vanilla, a touch of cinnamon and sherry.

The finish has a good length, hitting with a bit of oak spice but nothing but nothing terrible, along vanilla.

Balvenie 12 has a nice nose, feels velvety, neither too sweet nor a sherry bomb, quite friendly and approachable.

It lacks complexity, yet provides good balance between sweet and spice along a satisfying finish with no alcohol burst.

This is the kind of whisky you drink neat although a splash of water will bring more oak and highlight the sweetness.

Overall, the Balvenie 12 is an unbelievably smooth dram and a pleasant experience for those who privilege smoothness and a not overly sweet taste.

Folks like me who prefer some harshness in their drinks will recognize its quality but will miss a proper bite to remind you that you’re drinking whisky.

I’ve included the Balvenie 12 among the best 12 year Scotch whiskies you can buy today!

Learn how it compares to the Balvenie 14!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this Scotch:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then kept in Oloroso Sherry butts for 9 months before bottling.

  • Oloroso is a dry and aromatic style of sherry wine made in Jerez, Spain recognized for its delicious sweetness.

  • Balvenie grows its own barley and is one the very few left with its own malting floor.

  • The Balvenie is a Speyside whisky located in Dufftown, Scotland, owned by William Grant & Sons; other brands in the portfolio include Glenfiddich, Tullamore D.E.W. and the Monkey Shoulder among several others.

  • Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Aberfeldy 12 vs Balvenie 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Aberfeldy 12$45
Balvenie 12$74

Aberfeldy 12 vs Balvenie 12: Which is better?

Balvenie is a top-rated single malt

WhiskeyAberfeldy 12Balvenie 12
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Balvenie is an incredibly smooth dram making the best choice for those who are willing to pay a premium on smoothness. This whisky has no warmth, bad bite or alcoholic flavors although I feel that it lacks a bit of character.

  • If you are not willing to pay the price gap between the two consider that Aberfeldy is good, way cheaper than the Balvenie although it bites a bit but nothing terrible. The good news is that if you add a few drops of water it becomes sweeter and more enjoyable. Hence, I recommend buying the Aberfeldy, tune it down with water a save a few bucks!

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