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Balvenie 12 vs Glenfiddich 15: Head to Head!

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

Balvenie 12 DoubleWood

balvenie-12-doublewood
NoseHoney, toffee, vanilla, pear
PalateCaramel, apple, citrus
FinishSpicy oak, roasted nuts
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat or add water
Similar toOban 14, Aberlour 12

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 (Review) 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 Whisky 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.

But definitely, one of the best Single Malts in the 12 YO category.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this Scotch:

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

Glenfiddich 15 Solera Reserve

glenfiddich-15-solera-reserve
NoseSherry, orange, oak
PalateSherry, orange, cinnamon, ginger, oak
FinishOak spice, sherry
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat or add water
Similar toMacallan 12, Glenfiddich 14

The nose is high in sherry aroma up-front, followed by hints of orange and subtle oak.

On the palate, Glenfiddich 15 has a decent body without being creamy or watery. Flavor is mostly sherry and light orange, followed by hints of ginger and oak.

The finish is medium-length bringing some oak spice, yet nothing severe and more sherry which is the common theme from nose to finish.

Glenfiddich 15 is a nice and smooth, perhaps a little too smooth, sweet malt, with a strong sherry and orange note.

This is not the richest whisky but it is an easy drinker, with hardly any burn at a great price offering good value for the money.

If you feel spicy notes on the finish add a few drops of water. Just two or three drops are enough to tune it down and make it sweeter.

Overall, Glenfiddich 15 is a straight up sherried Scotch, neither bad nor great at a very attractive price making a good candidate for an everyday Scotch.

What makes this whisky interesting is that it was aged in three different types of casks: ex bourbon, ex-sherry, and new virgin American oak.

The whisky is then vatted into a Solera System similar to those used for the aging of Sherry wine. Once aged the whisky is married for a further period in Portuguese oak tuns to achieve consistency.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).
  • Glenfiddich is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky produced by William Grant & Sons in Moray.
  • Glenfiddich means “valley of the deer” in Gaelic, which is reflected in Glenfiddich’s stag logo.
  • The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant and the first whisky saw the light on Christmas Day 1887.
  • Glenfiddich is the best-selling single malt Scotch across the globe.

What do Balvenie 12 and Glenfiddich 15 have in common?

Owned by the same parent company

  • They are crafted at their own distilleries so there are not the same whisky in a different bottle.

Balvenie 12 vs Glenfiddich 15: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Balvenie 12$63
Glenfiddich 15$60

Balvenie 12 vs Glenfiddich 15: Which is better?

Glenfiddich is easier to like

WhiskeyBalvenie 12Glenfiddich 15
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Both are incredibly smooth with no harsh notes but the Glenfiddich is a safer bet as it’s easier to like as it’s a full sherried and sweet whisky.
  • Better option for new drinkers or those who prefer a sweet and easy drinking malt.
  • Balvenie 12 feels more robust and a better option for well-traveled aficionados.