I had never heard of Balcones Distilling until they won the WWA 2014 award for best American Whiskey. While I'm not a big fan of awards this time around I'm grateful to them for bringing this Texan distillery on to my radar.
When you think of Texas you don't think of whisky. And, frankly, the only thing I know about Waco, Texas (where the distillery is located) is that a certain madman by the name of David Koresh burned down a ranch along with a lot of people.
Luckily now I will begin to associate Waco, Texas with pretty awesome whiskey. So thanks to Balcones for that.
Started only five years ago Balcones is the lovingly built brainchild of a certain Mr Chip Tate - can't get any more Texan than that! Hand-built pot stills and a unique smoking method are responsible for this unique tasting corn whiskey.
Legend has it that one fine day Chip managed to burn a heck of a lot of corn at the bottom of his stills. Rather than throw it away he decided to use it. But not before he subjected it to his rather unique method of smoking the spirit with Texas Scrub Oak and then aging it in heavily charred barrels.
The result is the award-winning Brimstone Resurrection (get it?) that can only be described as a raging Texas campfire.
Nose: Completely scorched! Burnt leather. Dry barbecue meat. Clove. Ginger. Nutmeg. All spice. Cigar box. Let it breathe and it gets sweeter. Molasses. Baby ginger. Figs. Spicy Fruitcake. Cherry cough drops. All treated to that heavy Texan oak smoke. Wicked.
Palate: Seriously intense. Very woody cocoa. Peppers. Fruitcake. Java coffee beans. Nutmeg. Dry fruits. Figs. Raisins. All charred. All smoked. All fantastic.
Finish: Long with herbs. Wood. Cocoa. And did I mention smoke?
Powerful dram that is only three years old with a limited run of around 155 bottles so count your self lucky if you have one of these bad boys.
I've not tried any of the other Balcones offering but you better be sure I'm going to.