The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14-year-old single malt is one of the first Scotches I purchased. I’ve heard good things about The Balvenie’s core range, and I find the process of “finishing” whisky interesting. Here we have a whisky that’s aged 14 years in “traditional oak whisky casks,” then finished in ex-Caribbean rum casks. There’s no official note on how long the whisky is finished in these rum barrels, but I’m guessing it’s just a few months.
The sweet and spicy rum notes are prominently showcased on the nose, followed by toffee, fresh fruit and slight maltiness. Taste-wise, I get some vanilla, toffee, slight roasted coffee bean, fruit and some oak spice. At 43% abv, this whisky has a fuller mouthfeel than the 12-year-old DoubleWood. The spicy and dry notes carry over into the medium length finish. Very nice.
Overall, nice. Sweet nose and palate, with a nice amount of spiciness and dryness on the finish. Because of the unique rum cask finishing process, this a different style of whisky than the 12-year-old DoubleWood, but I enjoyed it much more. If you want a great representation of the house style of the Balvenie, this is not where you want to start. Go with the 12-year-old or 17-year-old, or even a single cask release. Nonetheless, it’s a great whiskey that won’t break the bank at around $60.