Balvenie 12 Year Old
Single Barrel First Fill

70cl / 47.8%
  • Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Distillery Bottling
Balvenie 12 Year Old / Single Barrel First Fill
Web Exclusive Price £54.75 £45.63 ex VAT (£78.21 per litre)
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A 2013 addition to The Balvenie's range, as a younger sibling to the 15 Year Old single cask. This is exclusively matured in first-fill bourbon casks and each bottle is part of a batch that is at most 300 bottles - all taken from the same cask.

Distillery Bottling
12 Year Old
Cask Type


  • Body
  • Richness
  • Smoke
  • Sweetness


  • Vanilla Vanilla
  • Cinnamon Cinnamon
  • Apple Apple
  • Coconut Coconut
  • Honey Honey
  • Toast Toast

Balvenie 12 Year Old Reviews

Tasting Notes

  • Tasting Notes by the Whisky Exchange

    • Nose:

      Syrupy honey up front, with floral notes, sweet apples, toasted oats and coconut.

    • Palate:

      Buttered toast with honey, cinnamon sugar, vanilla cream, caramel and sweet fruit.

    • Finish:

      Drying apple skin, shortbread and a pinch of liquorice sweetness.

  • Tasting Notes by Billy A

    • Nose:

      Lots of syrupy honey up front, with floral notes, sweet apples, toasted oats, lightly coconutty Nice biscuits and dry straw, along with a bit of cinnamon syrup hiding underneath.

    • Palate:

      Very Balvenie – buttered toast with honey, cinnamon sugar, vanilla cream and caramel, backed up by a bit of fruit and some light, well balanced wood.

    • Finish:

      A touch of drying apple skin, more Nice biscuits, a hint of sour wood and a little bit of liquorice sweetness.

    • Comment:

      This very much does what it says on the (very prettily designed) tin – it’s classic bourbon cask Balvenie, biscuity and honeyed, and very easy drinking. A great alternative to DoubleWood and Signature for those who like their whisky without the heaviness of sherry.

  • Tasting Notes by Tim F

    • Nose:

      A nice meadowy honey aroma, quite powerful. Develops lots of caramel, sweet orange, vanilla oak and chocolate notes with time in the glass, along with a pleasant leafiness and pine sap.

    • Palate:

      Sweet and sappy straight off the bat, with strong creamy vanilla and then the honey. Cocoa / milk chocolate in mid-palate on a bed of freshly-sawn oak, then some orange liqueur hints. Water releases a note of condensed milk and tinned fruit salad.

    • Finish:

      Medium-length, more fruit now – green apples and tinned pears.

    • Comment:

      First Fill Bourbon Cask. You know what you’re getting and this Balvenie definitely delivers in textbook style. The increasing number of fans of this style of whisky should be very happy with this.

18 Customer Reviews

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  • 3
    3 January

    I'm hard-pressed to give more than three stars to this expression, despite my enthusiasm for the Balvenie brand, and, for distillery owner William Grant & Sons. This dram featured loads of alcohol-tinged heat, up front, which overshadowed any other flavors that might be tasted. Vastly inferior, in my opinion, to the excellent, five-star Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask expression.

  • 5
    24 July 2018

    Absolutely fantastic! I tried this at a bar in the US and it was instantly one of my favorite Scotches. The flavors were just a delight. The finish was my favorite. Pairs well with a steak!

  • 5
    4 April 2018

    lovley dram.... one of my new favorites 12yo....

  • 3
    20 March 2018

    Great way of showing the full power of the American Oak casks. I found the sweetness to be slightly overpowering with this one and I wish there was a little more oaky pepperiness to add to its complexity. But my friends love it, and I love serving it to them. The hand numbered bottle leaves great impressions.

  • 1
    1 December 2017

    Is it possible for a single malt to be 'off' when opened? I enjoy the Balvenie Doublewood and anticipated an enjoyable dram with this Single Barrel 12 year old. However it is fiery, not smooth at all. It burns the tip of my tongue. Not impressed. Bottle 15 from 3394

  • 4
    13 November 2017

    Another great Whisky from the Balvenie, and also a good price. Plenty of floral and light fruits on the nose. Vanilla, honey and a hint of cinnamon on the palate. One ice cube brings the flavour out brilliantly. Not the best but a very good whisky to have in your collection.

  • 5
    18 May 2017

    A really exceptional whisky , great on the nose just before your first taste. I really enjoyed the Signature but this is better.

  • 5
    10 December 2016

    The first bottle was bananas. Bannana convection, bannana spices. The whole room smelled like bananas. The second was more green and grassy. There are batch variations, but the quality is simply stunning! Don't waste your time with sherry this and double matured that. This is the money melon. Or bannana

  • 4
    17 April 2016

    It's not chill filtered as one review said. I used to work on the site and I can tell you that the warehouse guys were given the number of a cask that was selected by the malt master. They took that cask straight to the bottling hall and pumped the contents into a small vat and then the bottles were filled pretty much straight away. Also, they never add colour or phenols but I had heard that diageo distilleries do this to make the product look and taste nicer than it otherwise would be. One of the very few places that still does it right is the William Grant site (where this comes from).

  • 5
    30 January 2016

    Stunning, without question the best 12 year old distillery bottling around. One of the reviews below talks about chill filtering removing some of the goodness - the strength tells you it hasn't been chill filtered! Beautiful whisky straight from the cask!

  • 5
    14 November 2015

    Fantastic flavor without trying too hard. Doesn''t sacrifice quality for the sake of complexity. If you like a pancake with butter and syrup, why mess it up with fruit and cream? This whiskey is dialed knows it it''s good and doesn''t need some artistic prick to mess it up just so he can say he''s innovative.

  • 5
    19 September 2015

    It tastes like a good scotch. No toast flavour

  • 3
    21 May 2015

    On the second thought: I understand why Jim gave whopping 96.5 points to this one. I think this is a bit too straight forward and I get kind of youngish feeling here, althought it''s 12 year old. Maybe too clean bourbon cask influence, first fill bourbon casks tend to have that effect on whisky.

  • 4
    6 March 2015

    Kudos for Balvenie showing for affordable price what first fill bourbon casks can do for malt whisky. Some best qualities of bourbon matured malts are evident here. Lots of flavors and some real complexity. Unfortunately Balvenie has left lots of flavors on the table by chillfiltering and probably adding some artificial coloring. Whisky lover can only ask why!

  • 5
    7 January 2015

    Outstanding. It''s Balvenie so expect fruit and flavor on the palate. However a nice warmth and smooth burn follows the initial and lingers. The way the palate contrasts the finish makes it complex and sophisticated enough to justify the price. For 65.00 you open yourself to so many find many single malts, but this one is a steady force that should be a regular stay in anyone''s collection. When you want salt, peat, smoke and all brooding man, get yourself Lagavulin. When you want to celebrate the fat that you made it through another week of work, this is it. Could possibly be a Saturday night dram too. However, this is not your special moment dram or wanting to create a little memory for yourself dram. Have to spend about twenty more for that. Getting me?

  • 5
    25 July 2014

    This is a great whisky. Light and fruity. The first time I have tried a Balvenie but am now a fully paid-up convert.

  • 5
    23 June 2014

    Well what can I say about this very special single malt except that it is the best whiskey I have had. The aroma is amazing the taste is truly devine, the price is great to. All from a Distillary which works traditionally, hats of to all at the Balvenie. You must try this malt.

  • Jim Gibbs 16 October 2013

    The 12 yr Single Barrel was a complete surprise for me after spending way too much for the 17 yr Doublewood. This new Doublewood was a total disappointment whereas the new 12 yr was very special. This one has great complexity and balance with some kick to it. I loved the 15 yr Single Barrel and still do but this new offering is at least as good or even better. A long time Balvenie lover going back to the days of the Classic.