Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Score: 9.1 / 10
Type: Speyside Single Malt
Booze Anecdote: I collected all the Game of Thrones whiskies... yes, I was that guy. Now before you judge me, please note that I love all whiskies, Bourbon, Rye, Irish, Scotch, Japanese, American and World. But there is also the nerd in me that loves medieval anything including Game of Thrones. What better way to combine two of my favorite things in whisky and Game of Thrones!? I read some reviews and knew that the collection wouldn't stack up against some of the other best whiskey brands Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Bruichladdich Octomore, Redbreast 12 Cask Strength nor Nikka From The Barrel, but dammit, I'm a collector and I wanted them. I even went to WhiskyFest in NYC in December of 2018 and tried a select few from the collection. I then set out to grab my very own of each bottle. I was disappointed when I could only collect 6 of the 9 (Johnny White Walker included). I searched high and low but I had missed the window to buy the rare bottles from the collection. They were nowhere to be found. In all of my searching I finally found that Amazon has them... in the UK, of course, but I live in Denver.
Insert random day when I was chatting with my Scottish co-worker and said, "hey - do you know anyone that lives in the UK and can do me a huge favor?" To my surprise he said yes and even mentioned that our colleague in the UK had just been promoted and had to come to town for his new hire training. I reached out to him and he was happy to have the bottles delivered to his house and then bring them with him to the US. He came through and my collection was complete. As a small token of my gratitude I gave him a 2oz pour of Hibiki Blender's Choice which is a Japan only exclusive. Right before he left we were chatting and he said, "Balvenie 12 DoubleWood is my favorite Scotch and you should try it when you can." Flash forward 3 months and my local store had that exact bottle on sale for $39 so I snagged it and wrote my first whiskey review.
Nose: fruity, apples, smells dry with a hint of lemon, nuts and spice.
Palate: mouthfeel is thick, viscous and malty. This is everything I want in a whiskey. Big fruit flavor upfront, more apple, a light hint of tobacco and leather, candied fruit, vanilla, honey, oak, flavors that transform on the tongue and turn into cinnamon. The cinnamon burns hot for a few moments and transitions into a peppery spice.
Finish: mild and lingering. The finish fades slowly and reminds me of all the high notes in the whisky. The cinnamon transforms into spice which acts as a catalyst to accentuate the sweetness of the pour. Mouth watering after taste leaves me wanting another dram.
Notes: Availability: find it almost anywhere
Price: $39 on sale ($50 or $60 everywhere else)
I would recommend this to anyone. You can find it anywhere and it is delicious. Definitely one to be added to my rotation and a pour that I thoroughly enjoyed.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)