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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

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

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:

Balvenie 12$63
Glenfiddich 15$60

Balvenie 12 vs Glenfiddich 15: Which is better?

Glenfiddich is easier to like

WhiskeyBalvenie 12Glenfiddich 15
  • 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.