Review: The Balvenie, Signature 12-YO by Liz Palmer


The Balvenie Distillery lies at the heart of Scotch whisky distillation in Speyside, which is Northeast Scotland up in the Highlands.

Wee Bit O’ Information

The Balvenie Distillery makes whisky the way they always have – there is no compromise, and takes pride that they are the only existing distillery that practices the “five rare crafts” of traditional whisky making:

  • The Balvenie grows its own barley;
  • Malts on its own traditional floor malting;
  • Has a team of coopers who work with the caskets; and
  • Employ a coppersmith to maintain the stills.

The Balvenie Distillery is still firmly rooted in its past.  Successive generations of skill on the malting floor, in the tun room and the still house, in the cooperage and the warehouses have preserved the consistency and remarkably high quality of The Balvenie down the years.

About David Stewart, The Balvenie Malt Master


David Stewart is the whisky industry’s longest-serving Malt Master. To celebrate his 45 anniversary of working in the Scotch whisky industry, and to mark this achievement Stewart has created a new, limited release 12-year-old Balvenie Signature expression.


The Signature Expression

“It has given me great pleasure to create a signature whisky as part of The Balvenie range,” says David “Maturing and marrying the finest single malt Scotch whisky has been my passion for over 45 years and it’s an honour to mark the moment with an addition to The Balvenie family.”

David Stewart personally hand selects the casks that go into the Signature expression. He skillfully marries aged Balvenie from the ?nest bourbon, new oak and sherry casks to create this signature malt. Not only is this expression an unique marriage of these three cask types, each bottle carries its own batch number.

The Drachm: The Balvenie, Signature 12-YO


Nose: citrus fruits, sweetness of honey, whiffs of cedar and sea salt on the nose.

Taste: Nutty honey mix with hints of sherry. Musty leather and dark chocolate notes with underlying notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Finish: The finish is long with peaty vapours.

Overall: Remarkably smooth and satisfying.

David Stewart has performed his magic once again!

Whisky Nosing and Tasting Tips:

  • A tulip shaped glass helps concentrate the aromas
  • Adding a small amount of (room temp) water releases the bouquet and flavours
  • To capture the nose, put your nose deep into the glass and take two sharp sniffs

About Liz Palmer

Liz Palmer is a well-respected wine journalist since 2004 and has an international reputation as a critic and judge. Liz has had the pleasure of interviewing and tasting with some of the industry’s leading winemakers, professors and personalities. Liz Palmer’s articles have appeared in national and international magazines. She is one of four founding international hosts for #ChampagneDay 2011-2017; she has served as a judge for the 2013-2017 Global Traveler's Wines on the Wing airline wine competition (New York); 2014-2017 Michelangelo International Wine Awards (South Africa) 2014-2017; and for the The Stevie Awards for Women in Business (New York) (2014-2017). Her Memberships include: Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada, Circle of Wine Writers (UK), International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV); Wine Century Club (NYC), The Fine Wine Reserve, and Les Dames d’Escoffier (President – Toronto Chapter). 2017 Awards: Liz Palmer’s first book, “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” has received the National Award for the best French Wine Book at the Gourmand World Awards 2017. On April 7th, 2017 she was awarded the title of “Dame Chevalier” of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne at an official ceremony in Paris.
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One Response to Review: The Balvenie, Signature 12-YO by Liz Palmer

  1. Liz Palmer says:

    Has anyone travelled to the The Balvenie Distillery in Speyside?

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