Single Malt, Rye and Corn: Balcones from Texas

The craft distillery in Texas is one of the pioneers of America's modern whiskey scene

 

Balcones Distilling in Waco, Texas has only been in existence since 2008, but it is something of the bedrock of the American craft whiskey scene. It was founded by Chip Tate, who has meanwhile left the distillery after disputes with the majority owners. Balcones is an innovative and authentic brand that wants to continue the American whiskey tradition and still interpret it individually.

Balcones' whiskies (yes, they deliberately write “whisky” and not “whiskey”) win one award after the other. However, unlike in the USA, their products don’t wear the word "whisky" on their labels in Europe because maturation time is less than three years. The fact that Balcones releases are very successful is not least due to the intensive and quick maturation in the Texas sun.

Balcones relies on regionality regarding the grain they use, as malted barley and rye from Texas and blue corn, a special type of corn, from Mexico. But regarding distillation, the company, which has meanwhile moved to larger premises, uses Scottish pot stills of Forsyths from Rothes.

Products of the Balcones Core Range

  • Balcones Texas Single Malt, 53% ABV
    There are not too many single malts in the US, moreover, distilled on Scottish pot stills. Balcones shows how Texans think a single malt should be: soft and malty with aromas of toasted bread, fresh butter and jam

  • Balcones Brimstone, 53% ABV
    This is the representative of the smoky faction: "Texas Scrub Oak" the label says, in the American version supplemented by "Corn Whisky". The Brimstone gets its smokiness from smoking the corn with Texas srub oak.

  • Balcones Texas Rye 100 Proof, 50% ABV
    The mash for these Balcones consists of 100% rye. The tasting notes speak of sweetness and spicy aromas, butter toffee, peanut butter, black pepper, chocolate and nuts.

  • Balcones Baby Blue, 46% ABV
    This is the flagship of Balcones. The blue corn variety used for it is particularly popular in Mexican cuisine; it brings notes of tropical fruits and brown sugar combined with sweet lemon tea and smoked chilies, cinnamon and leather to the “whisky”.

  • Balcones True Blue 100, 50% ABV
    Again, 100% blue corn is involved. Especially selected barrels give this Balcones aromas of black tea and salted chocolate, of charred oak, leather, coffee and roasted corn.