Maker: Balcones, Waco, Texas, USA
Proof: 105 (52.5% ABV)
Thanks: To Dustin for getting me this sample!
Appearance: Shiny copper with a thick, husky legs.
Nose: Butterscotch candy, sweet cream butter, sharp wood notes appear but then fade (small barrel syndrome strikes again!), alcohol.
On the palate: Full-bodied & sweet. Caramel corn, butterscotch pudding, almond extract, malt. If I didn’t know better I’d say I even tasted a bit of sherry.
Finish: Hot and sweet with a strong Highland accent.
Parting Words: This is the most Scottish American malt I’ve ever had. It is strongly reminiscent of inland Highland Malts with their pure creamy malt characteristics. This is particularly true in the finish. What’s perhaps the most remarkable about this whiskey is how much it changes after being poured. I tasted it in a Riedel Single Malt glass and I felt like every time I took a sip I had to go back and re-write my notes. The Caramel Corn/Butterscotch notes eventually take the lead and it’s for the best. Balcones is one of the good guys in the micro-distilling movement and this whisky (ey?) is exhibit A. Balcones Single Malt is highly recommended.
3 thoughts on “Balcones Single Malt”
Thanks so much for taking the time to review the malt. I’m glad you liked it. Just as a point of interest, all of the barrels that went into the particular bottling you reviewed are 53 gallon and 60 gallon sizes. No small barrels here. But rather than using kiln-dried, heavy char barrels, we use fully yard-aged fine grain oak that is heavier toast and lighter char. Perhaps that’s what you’re picking up on the barrel profile. By the way, good catch on the sherry note. We do use a small percentage of the same type of eastern European that Sherry producers use.
Head Distiller, Balcones Distiling
Thanks for the clarification and information, Chip! I did think it was pleasantly odd that that acrid note I associate with small barrels dissipated so quickly.
This is an excellent whisky. You have a lot to be proud of. I have a bottle of True Blue in my garage. Can’t wait to crack that open soon!
Thanks again. You’re very kind. Just thought you’d be interested to know since I can see you took a lot of time with the whisky. Hope you enjoy the True Blue. I’ll have to keep you in the loop with some special bottlings we have coming out in future.