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Balvenie 12 vs Oban 14: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Balvenie 12 vs Oban 14 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).

  • 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.

  • Of the more of 100 distilleries in Scotland, Balvenie is one of only seven left with its own malting floor.

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

Oban 14

oban-14
  • Nose: Ripe fruit, citrus peel, smoke.
  • Palate: Dried fruit, pear, apple, baking spice, smoke.
  • Finish: Long, oak, baking spice, salt.

The nose is quite good as it kicks-off with a ripe fruit note, along citrus peel and a touch of smoke.

On the palate, Oban 14 provides a nice mouthfeel as the body feels creamy. Flavor hits with dried fruit at first, followed by pear and apple shrouded in baking spice and a gentle tad of smoke.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, leaving an aftertaste of oak, baking spice and salt.

Oban 14 has a very pleasant smoky taste that doesn’t overwhelm other notes making it a good choice for those who want smoke in moderation when compared to Islay Malts that offer blasts of smoke.

This is a nice and easy sip that you can drink either neat or adding a dash of water bringing additional sweetness and more oak, although I like it as is.

This single malt was aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels and you can tell as there are many bourbon-like notes in it. So if you are fond of this liquor and want to add a tad of smoke Oban is a no-brainer.

Oban is one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries as it only has 2 pot stills, making it a midget when compared to Glenfiddich that has 30.

It dates back to 1794 when it was founded by the brothers John and Hugh Stevenson in the Port of Oban which was named after the distillery and not the other way around!

Overall, this is pretty good single malt Scotch for those who want restrained smoky notes.

Discover how it compares to the Talisker 10!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Oban ages for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels.

  • Earned a Gold Medal at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

  • Oban belongs to Diageo, the British drinks giant with the largest portfolio of brands in the industry; they also own Johnnie Walker, Casamigos and Don Julio among several others.

Balvenie 12 vs Oban 14: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Balvenie 12$74
Oban 14$95

Balvenie 12 vs Oban 14: Which is better?

Balvenie is overly smooth and Oban has a subtle smoky note

WhiskeyBalvenie 12Oban 14
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value

Both Balvenie and Oban are top-rated and serve different preferences:

  • Balvenie is better suited for those who privilege a smooth and mellow dram, with no harshness, smoke,or any off-putting note. This is a whisky that goes down nicely with no warmth.

  • Oban 14 is a better choice for those who want a smoky note but not as overpowering as in the Lagavulin, Ardbeg or Laphroaig.

  • Oban is more easy-going and yet quite interesting and a solid choice as an entry-level bottle to peaty whisky.

  • Personally, I prefer the Oban over the Balvenie due to the smoky note and the nice warmth that comes at the end. But those who value smoothness will prefer the Balvenie.

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