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Balvenie 12 vs Macallan 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Balvenie 12 vs Macallan 12 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 Scotch 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 find it boring; like watching a French film.

Discover the differences between Oban 14 vs Balvenie 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this Scotch:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).
  • Balvenie Doublewood is 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 sweetness.
  • This whisky is crafted by Malt Master David Stewart MBE, the first man to age whisky in a wine barrel; that was back in the 80s.
  • Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Macallan 12 Double Cask

macallan-12-double-cask
  • Nose: Sherry, dried fruit and mixed nuts.
  • Palate: Rich in spices, oak and a hint of chocolate.
  • Finish: Long and rich in oak.

The nose is sweet, rich in sherry, dried fruit and oak.

On the palate, the Double Cask kicks-off with a blast of oak, followed by bitter chocolate, sherry and a bit of citrus. There is just a bit of warmth yet from the pleasant type as it’s not burny.

The finish is long, with more oak to it, rich in dried fruit and a tad of spice.

The Double Cask is rich in flavors, not too sweet, with a faint note of chocolate, a trace of spice, with a bit of warmth at the end and a noticeable oaky note making it a satisfying dram as it goes down nicely.

Overall, the Macallan 12 Double Cask serves as an introductory release to sherry cask matured Scotch before going for the sherry-bombs (Glenallachie, GlenDronach), although the deep oaky note can be harsh for some consumers.

Adding a splash of water will tune-down the oak and the warmth making it easier to drink. I would not use the Double Cask as a mixer due to its price.

Discover which is better, if the Macallan 12 or Glenfiddich 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Double Cask:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).
  • Aged for 12 years using a combination of American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry wine from Spain.
  • Earned Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017.
  • Gold Medal & 95 points rating from the International Review of Spirits Tasting in 2017.
  • The Macallan Distillery was founded in 1824 and is located in Craigellachie, Moray.
  • Macallan does not use caramel-coloring to make the whisky look more appealing, this practice is allowed under the set of rules that govern Scotch whisky but Macallan refrains from such questionable practice.
  • Macallan is a Speyside Whisky, the most densely populated Whisky region in the world. Speyside whiskies are known for being low in peat and full of fruit and are commonly matured in Sherry casks.

Balvenie 12 vs Macallan 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Balvenie 12 DoubleWood$74
Macallan 12 Double Cask$80

Balvenie 12 vs Macallan 12: Which is better?

Balvenie is a smoother sipper

WhiskeyBalvenie 12Macallan 12
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Balvenie 12 is the easier of the two. This is an easy drinking malt with very little warmth, that strikes a nice balance between sweetness and oak providing a pleasant experience.
  • The Macallan 12 is more tasty, a bit heavy on the oak and warmer.
  • Personally, I prefer the Macallan 12 as it has more character, but you should consider which better suits you better.

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