Review: The Balvenie – 12 Year Triple Cask

Released in 2013 as their ‘Travel Retail’ bottle, the 12 Year Triple Cask from The Balvenie has been around for a quite a while now. You’ve probably seen it as you pass through the airport on your travels, and on a recent journey I did just that. 

If you’re not familiar with the Balvenie distillery, they offer a large range of Speyside whiskeys in the North of Scotland. There core range is quite popular and often recommended around the whisky world, but how did the 12 Year Triple Cask fare? I had a dram to see how it got on.

To the eye, it’s golden brown with a hint of ruby. Some of the Balvenie malts are coloured, but I couldn’t find any information as to this was or not. In any case, it was nice enough to look at, but how did it go down?

On the nose, it’s very mellow with a hint of spices and cinnamon. The base notes are where you will find some stronger citrus and apples smells, with a very mild oaky vanilla finish. 

When it hits your mouth, you instantly get that smash of spice and a nice strong heat on the tongue. The citrus and fruit smells that where on the nose really come to the fore here and you get an absolute bang of them as you swill the whisky around your mouth. 

The finish give you a long, smooth burn, and is quite dry on the palate. It’s here in the finish that you find the sweetness that you often find in this range.

So far, so run-of-the-mill, but would some water improve the taste? Once the dry run was done, I popped a few drops in to see how much it changed the taste of the whisky, if at all.

On the nose now, the water really unleashed the more sweet smelling cinnamon flavours. Those floral spices definitely hit the nose, but in the mouth it didn’t do much of anything. The finish was much the same as before, if increasing the sweetness a bit.


Overall, this is quite a rich dram. You can certainly get the taste of the sherry finish, and if you’re looking for a sweet, rich bodied whiskey with hints of oak, this is the dram for you.

Personally? I found it a bit too mellow, and overall just a bit boring. Starting at around £65 for a bottle, this whisky is a little pricey for what you get. At this price range, I’d go for something else – maybe try something from their core range, which offers something a little more exciting. You’ll definitely get a little bit more bang for your buck.

If you are new to whisky, then this may be one to try – it’s not a particularly complicated drink. If you’re veteran, look elsewhere.

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