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Nose: Rather dusty from the start and also smoky, which is followed by a sourness. The corn is obvious and flits between what you'd expect corn meal for tortillas to smell like and slightly sweet cornbread. The sour note has a high-pitch sweetness to it, somewhere between mezcal and a light rum's fruitiness. Vanilla and salt take charge of the spices, and cardomom and allspice fall behind.
Palate: Surprisingly rich and smooth on entry. Honey and a slightly grain whisky-esque bitterness. More dry corn. Vanilla, caramel, and dry tortilla chips. It's very dusty and has some smokiness to it - less like a Springbank and more like a very dry, light, and plain BBQ (not mesquite or BBQ sauce - definitely Texas pit BBQ style).
Finish: Not the longest or most complicated, more on corn mash, tortilla, porridge, corn bread, and sweet smoky notes. Really liked this as a change of pace.
I wasn't sure what to expect, and reviews and tasting notes had been all over the place for it. Balcones really seems to have people who adore it (Paul Pacult, for instance, gave it 5-stars), others found it weak, odd, or lacking. For its age, one might expect it to have the qualities of new-make whiskey aged in very small barrels, but it's nothing of the sort. It's been diluted a bit, but you don't get the feeling that it's watery, like many a Cognac I've had. The sourness is a bit odd, and not like the 'cherry' sort of flavor that many bourbons have from the oak, nor the bitterness in some brandies. Still, it's a 100% blue corn mash, and the corn is obvious. It's a different corn than is used in bourbon and most whiskies, so the profile is a bit different, and it's all on corn based goods and products. I'm not sure that it'd be an every day drinker or how it ages in the bottle, but it's nice from time to time.