The 12 year old DoubleWood is The Balvenie's entry level whisky, and it's a great, crowd-pleasing Scotch since it doesn't lean too heavily on any particular style or flavor. It's aged in both ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry barrels, giving it a very well-rounded character.
Color: The Balvenie has a rich honey-caramel color that's quite dark for a 12 year old Scotch.
Nose: The nose is rich, sweet, and warm with hints of honey and toffee. There are fruity undertones of ripe apples, dried cherries, and milk chocolate. As it sits, a brown sugar aroma develops that makes it very inviting.
Flavor: This Scotch is extremely smooth with sweet flavors of oak, vanilla, and honey up front. The mouth-feel is thick and rich with a bit of buttered toast flavor. After a while more brown sugar and nutty flavors start to come out.
Finish: The finish is long, warm, and sweet. There are hints of raisins and figs and more sweet vanilla. At the tail end there's a hint of tar which isn't a bad way for such a sweet and smooth Scotch to finish off.
Overall, The Balvenie Double Wood is a great "everyday" single malt that hits a lot of key flavors without being overly aggressive with any of them. It's also one of the few whiskies that I strongly prefer to drink totally neat without a splash of water or ice cube. It's not weak, but it doesn't need any mellowing out at all...spot on.