Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12 – What’s The Difference?

As a passionate admirer of whisky, I have often wondered about the distinction between Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12. Both are single-malt Scotch whiskies from Speyside, Scotland that provide an intriguing variety of flavours to delight any palette.

Aberlour 12 and Balvenie 12 may have some commonalities when it comes to production techniques and components, but there are also notable differences between them that make each one remarkable in its own way. In this article, I will compare these two whiskies to aid you with making an informed decision about which suits your palate the best.

Receiving a small bottle of Balvenie 12 as a wedding favor ignited an unexpected passion for whisky in me. With no prior drinking experience, I was intrigued to find out what it was like. But after a few moments, I knew that whisky was something that would be special for me from then on out.

The taste of the Balvenie 12 lingered on my tongue, making me yearn for more. Its delightful combination of honey and spice was delicate yet inviting – it had a flavour that I’d never experienced before. As I discovered other whisky varieties, their dissimilarities and characteristics became clear to me. Before long, my love for whisky had become so powerful that its consumption soon grew into a habit in my weekly schedule.

Whenever people inquire about how to get started with whisky, my go-to suggestion is without fail the Balvenie 12. It was what initiated me into whisky appreciation! Not only is it an excellent single malt Scotch from Scotland’s Speyside district, but also its distinct flavour profile comes from the best ingredients and ageing in classic oak barrels – a taste which will have you eager for another dram! It’s no wonder the guys over at Master of Malt state: “This is also a single malt with the ability to convert a non-whisky drinker with its deliciousness…”

So let’s see how it stacks up against the Aberlour 12 year old, lets dive into the battle between Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12.

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12: Quick look comparison

Aberlour 12 Whisky

Aberlour 12

Nose: Luscious and rounded, this beverage is imbued with the fruity flavors of red apples.

Palate: With a delicate Sherry-infused taste, this exquisite spirit boasts an effortless harmony between its fruity aromas and velvety chocolate undertones.

Mouthfeel: This beverage provides a pleasingly smooth texture and delightful mouthfeel.

Finish: Lusciously sweet with a hint of spice, this flavour remains on your palate for an indulgent and warm experience.

Age: 12 years

Cask/Barrels: Traditional Oak and seasoned Sherry butts

Strength: 40% ABV / 80 proof

Price: £39 /$48

Balvenie 12 Whisky

Balvenie 12

Nose: The nuttiness of the flavour is deliciously intertwined with spices and honeyed sultanas and grapes, creating a taste that is simultaneously firm yet velvety.

Palate: There are subtle spices with a hint of vanilla, while the background reveals an ever-so-slight peaty taste. Every sip brings forth dried fruit notes that mingle harmoniously with nutmeg, cinnamon, and more hints of bourbon for an unforgettable experience!

Mouthfeel: lightly creamy, good body

Finish: Spicy and slightly drying, yet still delightfully sweet.

Age: 12 years

Cask/Barrels: matured in refill American oak casks before it was treated to a finish in first fill European oak Oloroso sherry butts for an additional nine months

Strength: 40% ABV / 80 proof

Price: £46 / $56

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12: Aberlour 12 review

Aberlour 12 is a single malt Scotch whisky from Speyside, Scotland. It is aged for 12 years in traditional oak and seasoned Sherry butts which gives it its distinct flavour profile. The nose of Aberlour 12 has luscious and rounded aromas of fruity red apples, while the palate features delicate notes of Sherry-infused taste accompanied by fruity aromas and velvety chocolate undertones.

The mouthfeel of this spirit is pleasingly smooth with a lightly creamy texture and good body. As you enjoy every sip of this whisky, you will also experience subtle spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and hints of bourbon that mingle harmoniously with dried fruit flavours while the background reveals an ever-so-slight peaty taste.

The finish is lusciously sweet yet spicy with a hint of warmth that lingers on your palate long after your glass has been emptied. With its complex yet inviting flavours, Aberlour 12 is sure to be a hit among whisky lovers.

Aberlour 12 is an affordable and approachable single malt Scotch whisky that offers a pleasant drinking experience for its price point.

Overall, the Aberlour 12 year old produces an enjoyable drinking experience without breaking the bank – making it an ideal whisky for any occasion. Although it may not be the most memorable whisky you’ve had, it certainly offers a good value for its price point.

However, I think you could get a more interesting Speyside in a Glenfiddich 12, with more fruit and interesting notes for a much cheaper price tag.

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12: Balvenie 12 review

Balvenie 12 has a special place in my heart for making me fall in love with whisky. It is aged for 12 years and its complex flavour profile is like no other – the nose of this single-malt Scotch whisky is a delightful mix of nuttiness and spices, intertwined with honeyed sultanas and grapes. Upon tasting, one can experience subtle spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and even hints of bourbon that mingle harmoniously with dried fruit flavours. The finish is spicy yet sweet, providing an unforgettable experience.

The complexity of Balvenie 12’s flavour profile comes from its ageing process. After being matured in refill American oak casks, it is treated to a finish in first fill European oak Oloroso sherry butts for an additional nine months. This process gives the whisky its full-bodied taste with a hint of smokiness that brings out all the distinctive flavours.

On top of having an impressive flavour profile, Balvenie 12 also has an appealing fruity aroma that captures your attention right away when you pour it into your glass. The combination of aromas and flavours makes it the perfect whiskey for any occasion; whether you’re enjoying it neat or mixing it into cocktails.

Overall, Balvenie 12 is one of the best Speyside whiskies you can find – especially at its price point! With its complex yet inviting flavours, this whisky offers an enjoyable drinking experience without breaking the bank – making it an ideal choice for any whisky lover.

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12: The Comparison

Aberlour vs Balvenie

Even with Aberlour 12 being aged in almost identical casks to the Balvenie, the outcome in terms of flavour couldn’t be more different. The Aberlour 12 is characterised by its luscious and rounded aromas of fruity red apples, delicate notes of Sherry-infused taste combined with fruity aromas and velvety chocolate undertones.

On the other hand, the Balvenie 12 offers a more complex flavour profile with nuttiness and spices coupled with honeyed sultanas and grapes while subtle spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and even hints of bourbon mingle harmoniously with dried fruit flavours. The finish for both whiskies is pleasantly sweet yet spicy but the Balvenie 12 adds an additional layer of smokiness to its flavour that enhances its complexity.

The combination of these flavourful elements present in each whisky makes them unique experiences worth savouring – offering aficionados a range of tastebud-tingling sensations that will linger on their palates long after they enjoy their last sip!

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12 is a well matched fight are both beguiling whiskeys each with its own unique flavour profile. Whether you’re already a whisky aficionado or just starting out, these two single malts will have their rich aromas and delectable flavours. If you want to experience something extraordinary in the world of whisky, Aberlour 12 or Balvenie 12 may be exactly what you need.

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12: Food Pairing

Enhance your whisky-drinking experience and embark on an unforgettable flavour journey by marrying it with the right food. Carefully choosing ingredients to accompany your whisky will result in a multitude of delightful aromas and tastes that will stay with you for hours!

Whisky pairings bring out subtle and distinct flavours that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. By adding complementary ingredients to the whisky’s flavour profile, you can create a truly extraordinary experience for your taste buds which will linger in your memory indefinitely.

The key to achieving successful whisky pairings is balance – finding a dish that will not overpower the taste of the whisky nor allow its flavour to be lost among other ingredients. It might take some experimentation and practice in order to find your perfect whisky and food combination but it will definitely be worth it! With the right mix of ingredients, you’ll be able to enjoy all the subtle nuances that make your favourite spirit so special.

Pairing both Aberlour 12 and Balvenie 12 with beef:

When it comes to pairing Aberlour 12 and Balvenie 12 with beef, these two whiskies offer a delightful combination of flavours. The subtle sweetness of the whisky pairs perfectly with the savoury notes of the beef that help bring out the whisky’s complex yet inviting aromas and tastes.

Sirloin Steak
Sirloin Steak

The Aberlour 12 can be paired with simple cuts like sirloin for a more subtle complement to its fruity and Sherry-infused flavour profile. On the other hand, the Balvenie 12 lends itself better to heartier dishes such as prime rib or brisket; its smoky notes are sure to enhance the robust flavour of these cuts while its nuttiness helps tie in all the flavours together.

Prime Rib of beef
Prime Rib of beef

For an even more indulgent experience, try pairing either whisky with a rich stew or chilli con carne – letting the whisky’s sweet notes cut through the dish’s spice and complexity while adding an additional layer of flavour to your meal.

Beef Stew
Beef Stew

Aberlour 12: Crottin de Chavignol Goats Cheese

Crottin de Chavignol is a creamy, medium-hard goat’s milk cheese that originates from the Loire Valley region of France. Its name references the small round shape and size of its individual rounds, which are known as ‘little stones’ in French – crottins. The cheese has a delicate flavour profile with subtle hints of grass and hay as well as a slightly acidic aftertaste that creates a pleasant contrast between sweet and savoury flavours.

Crottin de chavignol goats cheese
Crottin de chavignol goats cheese

When paired with Aberlour 12, Crottin de Chavignol creates an exceptionally balanced whisky experience. The creamy texture of the cheese enhances the velvety smoothness of the whisky while the subtle acidity of its flavour complements the fruity flavour notes present in Aberlour 12. As a result, you can enjoy a rich yet nuanced Malt experience with flavours of sweet raisins and cherries that linger pleasantly on your palate long after you’ve enjoyed your last sip!

The pairing between Aberlour 12 and Crottin de Chavignol is not only delicious but also helps to bring out hidden aromas and tastes present in each ingredient. The contrast between sweet and savoury notes allows for fruitier or maltier flavours to be more prominent in each sip – creating an unexpected yet delightful sensation that will keep you reaching for more!

All in all, the combination of Aberlour 12 and Crottin de Chavignol makes for an exquisite pairing worth savouring. The complexity and contrast between their flavour profiles offer aficionados a delightful journey unlike any other – letting them truly appreciate every sip they take!

Balvenie 12: Smoked Salmon

The Balvenie 12 is an exquisite whisky with distinct notes of toffee, dried fruits and nutty undertones with a subtle smokiness. This Scotch can be enjoyed neat or paired with food to create a memorable experience. When it comes to pairing the Balvenie 12 with Smoked Salmon, this combination is sure to please.

Smoked salmon
Smoked salmon

Smoked Salmon offers a subtle yet complex flavour profile that perfectly complements the smoky notes of the whisky. The salty taste of the salmon helps bring out both sweet and spicy aromas from the whisky – creating an overall balanced and delectable experience for all.

The creamy texture of the salmon contrasts nicely against the velvety smoothness of the whisky, making for an enjoyable contrast between flavours that will leave you wanting more! The sweetness in the whisky also cuts through any potential fishy aftertaste while its nuttiness helps tie all the flavours together in perfect harmony.

Balvenie 12’s unique flavour profile makes it well suited for food pairings such as Smoked Salmon; its complexity creates an unexpected yet delightful sensation when enjoyed together with other ingredients like smoked fish. A glass of Balvenie 12 with a side of smoked salmon will help bring out hidden aromas and tastes – allowing aficionados to truly appreciate every sip they take!

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12: Cocktails

Aberlour 12: Spiced Pear Cocktail

A Spiced Pear Cocktail is a delicious and complex way to enjoy Aberlour 12. The spiced pear syrup enhances the whisky’s velvety texture, allowing for a smooth and mellow sip. The combination of sweet honey notes in the syrup and the whisky’s fruity flavour creates a balanced yet delightful experience.

The delicate blend of spices found in the syrup adds warmth to the whisky; cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper and allspice combine to create an intriguing palette of flavours that help bring out hidden undertones in the Aberlour 12. This unique combination helps to highlight its natural sweetness while also adding complexity to each sip.

When paired with a classic Spiced Pear Cocktail, Aberlour 12 takes on an entirely new level of enjoyment. Not only does it provide an exciting range of aromas and flavours – from dried fruits to nutty undertones – but it also helps bring out subtle yet powerful nuances in the cocktail itself. From smoky tones to subtle hints of chocolate, this pairing provides aficionados with an extraordinary Malt experience unlike any other!

Spiced Pear cocktail
Spiced Pear cocktail
  • 60ml Aberlour 12 YO
  • 14 ml lemon juice
  • 30ml spiced pear syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Shake well
  3. Strain into a glass
  4. Enjoy!

NOTES

Spiced Pear Syrup

Ingredients:

1 pear, peeled and chopped

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground allspice

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat

2. Bring to a boil

3. Remove from heat and let cool

4. Store in the fridge in a closed container for up to 2 weeks

Balvenie 12: Scotch and Ginger

The Balvenie 12 is an exquisite whisky with distinct notes of toffee, dried fruits and nutty undertones with a subtle smokiness. When paired with ginger ale for a scotch and ginger highball, it creates an unexpected yet delightful sensation that aficionados cannot get enough of.

Whisky and Ginger Cocktail
Whisky and Ginger Cocktail

The sweetness in the whisky complements perfectly the refreshing taste of ginger ale while its nuttiness helps tie all the flavours together in perfect harmony. The light carbonation of the ginger ale helps enhance the velvety smoothness of the whisky – making for an enjoyable experience that can be savoured sip by sip.

The subtle tartness of ginger ale creates a delightful complexity in each sip, while the spiciness helps to draw out the whisky’s undertones and aromas. This combination brings forth an exquisitely balanced and scrumptious experience that is sure to delight all your senses.

  • 50ml The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood
  • 200ml  ginger beer
  • lime wheel, for garnish

Combine ingredients in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12: Final Thoughts

When evaluating Aberlour 12 vs Balvenie 12, both whiskies offer a distinct and exquisite flavour that will delight any whisky enthusiast. Aberlour’s velvety smooth single malt scotch presents an array of flavours to savour – dried fruits, nuttiness, smokiness with sweet honey notes and subtle spices blended together exquisitely for an inviting aroma coupled with a captivating palette.

Balvenie 12 is a smooth yet complex whisky with notes of toffee, dried fruits and nuttiness. Its distinctive flavour profile makes it well-suited for food pairings such as smoked salmon – allowing aficionados to truly appreciate every sip they take! When blended with ginger ale for a Scotch and Ginger highball, the combination creates a delightful balance of sweet and spicy flavours that bring out hidden aromas and tastes from the whisky – making for an enjoyable experience that can be savoured sip by sip.

Ultimately, both Aberlour 12 and Balvenie 12 offer unique experiences when it comes to enjoying whisky. Whether you are looking for something sweet or something spicy, these two whiskies have something special in store for all aficionados!

Authors Pick

Balvenie 12 is my favourite whisky and the one that introduced me to the world of whisky. It has a smooth yet complex taste with notes of toffee, dried fruits and nuttiness, making it an ideal choice for any special occasion or gathering. The subtle smokiness of the whisky adds an extra layer of depth and complexity – giving it an unforgettable flavour profile that can be enjoyed sip by sip.

When paired with ginger ale for a Scotch and Ginger highball, the combination creates a delightful balance of sweet and spicy flavours that bring out hidden aromas and tastes from the whisky -making for an enjoyable experience that can be savoured with each sip. The slight bitterness from the ginger ale pairs perfectly with the sweetness of Balvenie 12, while its spiciness helps bring out hidden nuances in the cocktail itself.

The velvety smoothness of Balvenie 12 complements its complexity in such a way that it does not overpower other flavours in its vicinity but instead enhances them. This makes it incredibly versatile when creating cocktails or pairings with food. Whether served neat or as part of a cocktail, this whisky will satisfy even the most discerning palate.

I find that Balvenie 12 is best appreciated when taken slowly and enjoyed with all five senses – sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. When you take your time to appreciate this exquisite whisky, you will uncover unique nuances that make it truly unique and special. This is why I consider Balvenie 12 my favourite whisky – because it offers aficionados an extraordinary Malt experience unlike any other!

If you are keen on Balvenie 12 I’ve also reviewed it against Balvenie’s own Caribbean Cask.

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