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Balvenie 12 vs Dalwhinnie 15: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Balvenie 12 vs Dalwhinnie 15 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

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.

Learn how it compares to the Dalmore 12!

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.

Dalwhinnie 15

  • Nose: Honey, pear, apple, smoke.
  • Body: Ripe fruit, nutmeg, cinnamon.
  • Finish: Medium length, toasted malt, roasted nuts.

The nose hits with a honeyed aroma with hints of pear, apple and just a subtle whiff of smoke.

On the palate, Dalwhinnie feels a bit thin lacking in body. Flavor comes with a ripe fruit note, along notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.

The finish has a decent length, leaving a pleasant aftertaste of toasted malt and roasted nuts with very little warmth making an easy drinker.

Adding a drop of water is enough to make the Dalwhinnie better as it opens-up and becomes more fragrant, sweeter while bringing more oak to the flavor.

Dalwhinnie 15 is a sweet and very smooth fruity whisky, with a hint of baking spice. It’s not particularly complex or interesting but drinks without an controversies as it does not have any harshness, smoke, peat or any off-putting note.

Dalwhinnie is an easy drinker and a good option when in the mood for a light, uncomplicated dram and a good alternative for those who want an overly easy drinking single malt.

Learn how it compares to the Macallan 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this single malt:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Aged for 15 years in ex-bourbon barrels.

  • Dalwhinnie distillery was founded in 1897 by John Grant and is located in the Highland village of Dalwhinnie in Scotland.

  • It only has 2 stills making it one of the smallest distilleries in the UK.

  • Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland at 1,154 ft (352 m) above the sea level.

  • Dalwhinnie is labeled as a Highland Whisky, as the Speyside region is wholly within the Highlands, the Speyside distilleries have the legal right to use Highland or Speyside in their labels.

  • The brand is owned by Diageo who also owns Johnnie Walker among several other brands.

Balvenie 12 vs Dalwhinnie 15: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Balvenie 12 DoubleWood$74
Dalwhinnie 15$80

Balvenie 12 or Dalwhinnie 15: Which is better?

Balvenie offers more value for the money

WhiskeyBalvenie 12Dalwhinnie 15
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Balvenie is a bit more creamy and tasty making a better whisky than the Dalwhinnie which is thin and too light for a whisky at such price.

  • The Dalwhinnie is too expensive for an easy sipper at a low proof (ABV) with several better options at more affordable prices.

  • Both the Balvenie and the Dalwhinnie belong to the super smooth single malt category.

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