Balcones Texas Rye
Sometimes you have this one brand that you keep encountering, but never try.
Balcones is such a brand for me. A distillery from Waco Texas, founded in 2008, that started distilling in 2009. Within a fairly short time, they started to make a name and create different kinds of "American Whisky"; Single malt, Rye, Blue Corn etc.
You might have noticed that they write it without the "e". So, whisky, not whiskey.
I guess it is to make a statement, but I noticed that almost immediately when I first saw a bottle at The Malt Vault in The Hague. Most American Rye Whiskey, is with that "e".
Balcones Brimstone it was called, made from roasted blue corn. I had a dram after a tasting and have to be honest: I only remember being amazed by it, but cannot remember much more. (It was a fun night, the morning after less so.)
I spotted bottles of Balcones at several Whisky events, but never had it after that one Brimstone. I do not know why, I just did not try it.
But then I had a whisky tasting at my place with friends and fellow whisky enthousiasts.
And when David walked in, he immediately said: " I brought something you have to try!" Now David, a true spirits enthousiasts to a level where I expect him to own his own distillery one day, had a rye whiskey at my place before and liked it. He tried the Storyhouse Straight Rye Whiskey and the Stauning Rye Whisky
I guessed rye whiskey must have intrigued him, because he brought a bottle of Balcones Texas Rye 100 proof. Pot Distilled. And again I had a dram that I enjoyed so much!
This rye was made with a 100% rye mash bill, although different types of rye were used. After distillation it was aged for "at least 15 months" on American oak barrels.
(I guess it is pretty warm in Waco?)
It is bottled at 100 proof, which is 50% Vol.
A quick dance around my glass not only leaves a medium thick oily line, but also sends a couple of aromas to my nose. Even before nosing the dram, I already have the caramel, molasses and candycorn on the nose.
On the nose: Stronger wisps of caramel and fudge, accompanied by something like light smoked vanilla and warm apple. And corn, that sweet corn note. A second sniff reveals oak and chocolate, all followed by some warm leather heating up in the sun.
Taste: Right after the sip you get a combination of nut brittle, chocolate and mocha. All together with some heat like fresh peppers (You know those dark chocolate bars with some chili flakes added?) and some honey.
I also get some spices that seem to enrich the whole flavour: Pink peppercorns and a little bit of turmeric.
Finish, the finish lasts long and consists mostly of the spicy chocolate, which I really enjoy. Even after a couple of minutes, the savoury notes linger and make me want either a second sip, or a bit of something. Mouthwatering!
Thank you David, for sharing this dram!