25 years ago The Balvenie sparked a revolution in single malt Scotch with the debut of DoubleWood, a precious whisky aged in two different types of wood casks. The award-winning distillery soon had many competitors imitating its signature method of "double-cask maturation", though DoubleWood remained the gold standard.
Now they're celebrating its 25th anniversary with The Balvenie DoubleWood 25 Year Old, a limited-edition expression specially crafted by Malt Master David C. Stewart, made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen in 2016. It contains spirit laid down at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, in 1993, the same year the original DoubleWood 12 Year Old made its debut.
In 1982 Stewart began experimenting with double-cask maturation by transferring oak-aged Balvenie into ex-sherry casks to finish it for a number of months, "adding layers of flavor, depth and complexity that cannot be achieved using any other method." The new DoubleWood expression was first matured in traditional American oak casks for 25 years before being finished in Spanish oak ex-Oloroso sherry casks.
“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,” Stewart says, "with a finish full of oak and sherried sweetness" thanks to the two kinds of casks.