Newest editions to the shop:
–Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky: Batch-SM12-2, Bottled: 2/13/2012, Finished Barrel: Yard Aged American Oak Ex-Bourbon, Alcohol: 53%(106 proof)
–Balcones Brimstone Texas Scrub Oak Smoked Blue Corn Whisky: Batch-BRM11-12, Bottled: 11/28/2011, Alcohol: 53%9106 proof)
–Balcones True Blue Cask Strength Texas Blue Corn Whisky: Batch-TB11-11, Bottled: 11/18/2011, Alcohol: 62.9%(125.8 proof)
As you probably know, I like me some whiskey. But I literally can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a product. What President and Head Distiller Chip Tate is doing at Balcones micro distillery is nothing short of transcendent. His epicurean take on making craft spirits seems at this point peerless. Strong words indeed, but the level of unsurpassed quality coupled with the striking uniqueness puts these whiskys over the top for me.
For starters the Texas Single Malt is everything I never knew a single malt could be. It combines the elegance and grace of a single malt Scotch with the heavy char and oakiness of an American bourbon or rye. It’s left at a higher proof, so the flavors are concentrated and well defined. Oh yeah and when they entered it in last year’s New York World Wine & Spirits Competition it only won: Double Gold, Best Single Malt, Best Whiskey and Best Brown Spirit In Show! I kind of wonder if there has ever been a whiskey that dominated a competition as completely as Balcones Single Malt did.
Next we have the Brimstone Texas Scrub Oak Smoked Whisky and talk about a unique product! I’m not aware of anyone else making a product like this because the distiller actually smokes the whiskey right off the still, instead of smoking the grain before fermentation. The smoking process is a closely guarded secret, and with the amazing results their able to acheive I can understand why. I get flavors of smoked meats (like brisket), buttery corn bread, pipe tobacco and fresh cracked pepper with subtle hints of caramel and toffee that really balance out the experience.
Lastly we have the True Blue Cask Strength Blue Corn Whisky, this one was so good I’m actively working on trying to get a barrel bottled for our shop. Both the Brimstone and True Blue are made with roasted artisanal Hopi blue corn which is a distinction I think adds an incredible bouquet of flavors. I get notes of dark salted caramel, espresso, cinnamon, cracked pepper, dried chilies and orange blossom. The flavors are complex and lingering, more flavorful than I ever thought corn whisky could be.
Do yourself a favor and try these whiskies! I can’t wait to see what Balcones does next.