Balvenie 12 Years Single Barrel #11581

Balvenie 12 Years Single Barrel #11581

In my early days of whisky discovery, I was always on the lookout for new Balvenie. You may even remember that the first review ever to appear on this blog was of The Balvenie 30 Year Old.

Nowadays I try less of their core range whisky so let’s change that with this Balvenie 12 Years Single Barrel. It’s a first fill bourbon barrel – I think they all are. I already reviewed cask #12742 in the past and now I’m having cask #11581.


The Balvenie 12 yo Single Barrel – First fill (47,8%, OB 2022, cask #11581, less than 300 btl.)

Nose: fresh and coconutty, with some lemons, shortbread and light grassy notes. Crisp Granny Smith apples, alongside light honey and vanilla. Subtle waxy notes and mashed bananas. Fairly light and airy.

Mouth: easy-going and rather juicy. More biscuity notes, vanilla cake and lemon drizzle. Again some apples and melons. Custard notes and coconut flakes. Then some heady notes of lemon liqueur and freshly sawn wood.

Finish: on the short side. Citrus candy and powder sugar, with grassy oak and a minty note.

This Balvenie shows plenty of fresh fruits, but you also get some alcohol and coconutty wood, lacking a bit of body. Overall this is a fairly simple whisky, but an educational example of first fill bourbon wood nonetheless. Available from The Whisky Exchange, maybe others as well.