The Balvenie has released a limited-edition expression designed to mark the 25th anniversary of DoubleWood.
The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 25 Years, crafted by malt master David Stewart MBE, contains liquid laid down at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland in 1993, the same year as the original DoubleWood Aged 12 Years was released on general sale.
DoubleWood began life in 1982 when Stewart began experimenting with cask finishing (also known as double-cask maturation) by transferring mature Balvenie into Olorosso sherry casks to finish it for a number of months. This is a process which adds a layer of flavour, depth and complexity that cannot be achieved by any other method, according to the producer.
The success of this led the distillery to release the Balvenie Classic in 1983, which was subsequently rebranded as DoubleWood in 1993.
Stewart said: “When we launched the first DoubleWood in 1993, I would have never thought we would eventually be bottling a 25-year-old variant as we are today. It is testament to the success and admiration of DoubleWood that we are releasing this more mature expression.
“The final liquid has a lovely combination of sweetness and spice, with candied orange, some honey syrup on the nose, followed by a velvety mouth-coating taste, with layers of brown sugar and sweet dried fruits. The extra time spend in American oak, and finally sherry casks has imparted a finish full of oak and sherried sweetness.”
The expression was matured in two distinct cask types – firstly traditional whisky casks for 25 years, before being finished in Spanish oak ex-Olorosso sherry casks.
The newcomer is finished in sherry casks for just three months – compared to nine for the 12-year-old.
Alwynne Gwilt, UK brand ambassador, said: “The DoubleWood 12 is such an iconic whisky, with so many people I’ve spoken to over the years saying it was one of the whiskies that really got them interested in drinking Scotch. As such, it is a thrill to see this limited edition released to celebrate the 25 years that this whisky has been on the market. It is a wonderful tribute to David’s expertise and time with the company; lovers of The Balvenie will no doubt find this as something to treasure.”
The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 25 Years will be available for independent specialist retailers with an rrp of £400.