Well I do promise things that I forget to deliver on don't I (i.e. the posting of 05 April 2013). But 'better late than never' some flaker like myself once said.
First, with reference to the price and me being a tight-fisted old wanna-be Scot (third generation on my mom's side and who knows how far back on me dad's) - I happened to be visiting my son in Baltimore and we stopped for awhile in an interesting liquor and deli store where among other great items of interest they had a small three-pack of Scotch 50ml (@1.7 oz) miniatures - one The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year old, one The Balvenie Single Barrel 15 year old, and one The Balvenie PortWood 21 year old. Buying miniatures is normally not a cost effective way to buy booze but if what you are interested in is sampling a new, to you, variety of Scotch then it is a reasonably inexpensive route to take and especially if your new sample turns out to be unappealing to you.
My son had already tried this particular packaging of The Balvenie and had commented to me that although decent the 21 year old had not appealed to him, that the 15 year old Single Barrel was his favorite (of the three) and the 12 year DoubleWood was definitely his second choice.
I live in a somewhat rural area (by east coast standards at any rate) and was never able to find any liquor outlet locally that carried miniatures so from this fortunate display I quickly bought and brought home a packet of miniatures shown in the second photo. Eventually I got around to trying one of the aforementioned miniatures - the 21 year old PortWood, and will say that I, having had a bottle or two in years past of the DoubleWood, will probably end up agreeing in full with my son. Not that the two small samples that I drank from the miniature were not good, they were, but not worth the going price for this aged whisky.
The following review was listed on forpeatsake.com with the reviews ranging from 96 to 81 (with one outlier of 55). I choose to list this review because it reflects my own judgement of it being a decent whisky and that he was glad that he had just bought a miniature as it was just not worth the price for a full bottle. As always, I think that if you have the money and the inclination then try this decent drink for all of us seem to have different taste preferences in whisky - just look at the range of scores - but if your taste has been in line with my previous reviews and your pockets are not deep then perhaps you could skip The Balvenie 21 year old with no loss.
Review by ColoradoDram on Forpeatsake.com
Color Medium amber.
Color Medium amber.
Nose Flowery over all else. Water opens up vanilla , nuttiness, and winey oak.
Body Full bodied, very oily.
Palate Sweet raisins, heather, dry wine.
Finish Very warm, very long, and extremely dry.
Himself says - Best served neat (like most Balvenies). This is mature, refined, and consistent, but I'll take the inconsistencies of the 15 year Single Barrel on depth of character alone. Thank goodness I bought this in taster size, because there are much better values out there for dry wine finishes.