The Balvenie Signature Aged 12 Years – 13 June 2013

While I was quickly researching this, I was surprised to learn that this expression is now retired, as of today at the LCBO there are 946 bottles still left at the LCBO, given it was part of their core range.
( A little further back in time) Six years after creating Glenfiddich (1886), William Grant converted neighbouring Balvenie Castle into a distillery in order to meet the demands of blenders for “Glenlivet-style” malt (Glenlivet had been damaged by a fire and was closed at the time). Balvenie didn’t start marketing single malts until 1973, and despite its image as a “boutique” distillery, it produces 1.25 million gallons of whisky a year and has quite a significant place in the single malt scotch market. It also employs its own cooperage and coppersmith.

The Balvenie Signature Aged 12 Years is a classic marriage of The Balvenie matured in the three most traditional cask types, first fill bourbon, refill bourbon and finally sherry (Oloroso sherry butts). Produced in small, numbered batches (the bottle tonight comes from Batch #5, presumably the final batch), each cask used is hand selected by Malt Master David Stewart. This is to ensure he achieves Signature’s unique character of honey, spice and subtle oak and each batch is allowed time to harmonise in a traditional marrying tun. (A process in which blended whisky is left in large containers after blending, but before bottling.)

The colour is a shimmering gold-amber.

On the nose: rich and complex notes with honey, citrus fruits, cloves and other baking spices, vanilla and oak. Some might even say rather malty. Subtle hints of orange marmalade, and hint of pipe tobacco are also present.

The palate includes some of the orange/citrus notes, with a little more caramel and mint. The influence of the sherry cask comes through with the fruitiness A spiciness of cinnamon and nutmeg and a subtle oakiness have developed with time. A full, syrupy mouth feel!
The finish is warm and lingering; well-balanced.

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