Distillery: Balcones Distilling
Age: 2 Years
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
BACKGROUND: The Balcones name originally comes from Balcone Fault which runs through South Texas into Waco, the distilleries hometown. Originally started by Chip Tate 2008, the distillery gained notoriety because of their abstract distilling process using custom home built stills. Unfortunately after 6 years, a messy fallout took place causing Tate & Balcone’s to part ways. The 100% malt grain, copper distilled, non-chill filtered, whiskey was originally released as a limited edition back in 2011, but has since become the distilleries forerunner.
NOSE: The nose comes off quite strong upon first whiff with a strong malty aroma, highlighting scents of dark cherries and charred oak. As the flavors linger, hints of baking spice start to show accompanied by a smoky aroma that can only be compared to a smoker being opened that has been cooking all day. (21/25)
PALATE: Like the nose, the palate opens up quite strong. The first sip was filled with roasted malt, comparable to a chocolate malted rye flavor. As the flavors settled I started pulling the walnut and dark cherry flavors as I swished the whiskey around, which married with the malt flavoring exceptionally with the lingering oak spice flavors (29/40)
FINISH: The finish is less powerful compared to the robust flavors that accompanied the nose. The heavy spice fades relatively quickly, but to my surprise, flavors of sweet caramel, roasted nuts, brown sugar, molasse, and honey come to play. As the sweets fade, a tobacco flavor begins meddling until the flavor fades aways completely. (21/25)
VALUE: I picked this up today for $70, and although I believe that is a little high, this is still a great single malt to try if you are trying to expand your whiskey drinking horizon. (6/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Balcones Single Malt whiskey is quite enjoyable, with a roller coaster of flavors what come and go throughout the experience. This whiskey does a wonderful job keeping the traditional single malt dark flavors, while still exploring some of the sweeter notes of whiskey on the back end, all tied up with the perfect amount of spice and heat.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Glenlivet Enigma
Similar & Equal Whiskey: Woodford Reserve Chocolate Malted Rye
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey:High West Campfire
Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!
96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods
90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey
85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this
80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there
75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf
70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this
60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers
50-59: Not my cup of tea
Below 50: Give away