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The first two whiskies I had from Balcones Distillery were the Brimstone Resurrection and the Brimstone Blue Corn. Both spirits being uniquely treated to sun baked Texas Oak smoke.
The result was a truly unique flavor profile which can be best described as a spicy Texas campfire. Now for those of you who know me I'm a sucker for anything unique and anything that can challenge my palate and both of these wonderful whiskies ticked the right boxes for me.
With my curiosity piqued I got my hands on one of the very few single malts out of USA, the Balcones Texas Single Malt.
Chip Tate, the owner of this wonderful micro-distillery, uses a secret formula to mature his spirit - experimenting with used bourbon barrels of different sizes and ages to create his flavors.
The Texas Single Malt is distilled from Scottish malted barley called The Golden Promise. Produced by Northern Brewers this traditional strain has a sweet, clean flavor and is favored for making good Scottish ale.
My sample is from Batch SM12-10 (bottled 12/31/2012) and served at 53%.
NOSE : So fruity. Lots of citrus. Floral. Light fleshy fruits. Banana. Apricots. Jack fruit. So much Jack Fruit it's insane. Chocolate. More Horlicks. Fresh grass. Beeswax. Honey dew melon. And mango. This reminds me of a Yamazaki Distiller Reserve I recently tried. Like a tropical fruit basket.
PALATE : Chili. Lots of it first up. Mellows out mid-palate with pink melon. Chocolate. Lots of oak. Fennel. Cumin. Banana. And there it is again. That jack fruit. That never-ending jack fruit. Such an overripe tropical fruit platter.
FINISH : Long. Oak. Orange. Pink papaya. And the melon is back.
Now let me be honest. After the first two Balcones I had pegged this distillery to produce only highly smoked, insanely unique flavor profiles. However, this Texas Single Malt is more like a Scapa 16 and Yamazaki Distillers' Reserve blended together.
That's not entirely a bad combination but it doesn't work for me given my first two experiences. One need not go to Waco, Texas to get this flavor profile. With some creative blending it can be found in Scotland.
Mind you, it's not that bad but it certainly belies it's heritage as a kick-ass Texan.