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Balcones True Blue

100% Blue Corn Unaged Undiluted

0 1286

@VictorReview by @Victor

21st Apr 2011

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Balcones Distilling in Waco, Texas 'imports' blue corn from New Mexico to make this unaged undiluted True Blue corn whiskey from 100% mash of Blue Corn. They also make a version named Baby Blue aged for 4 months in miniature new oak barrels, and bottled at 46% ABV. The natural pigment of the blue corn gives this unaged spirit an aged-whisky-like colouration. True Blue is sold at undiluted distillation strength (it would be 'barrel proof' if there were barrels involved). The reviewed sample was from Batch TB10-7, which was bottled on 22 Oct 2010 at 61.8% ABV/123.6 proof.

Nose: moderate corn nose which has a deeper character than that from either white or yellow sweet corn. The nose is very slightly sour, but much less so than is typical from new make corn whiskey.

Taste: very big flavour, distinctively of blue corn, which is deeper than other corn varieties. Initial sourness gives way to a balance of sweetness and slight sourness which, very interestingly, tastes as though it has been aged in new wood, for, maybe, six months. There is nothing here, though, except for the blue corn to give these flavours. This is quite interesting and different in the category of taste sensations.

Finish: These flavours linger a long time and the sweetness fades out to a very mild sourness, with the blue corn flavour intact until the end.

Balance: Tasting this whiskey represents for me a further exploration of the taste of grains without additional variables added to the equation. In my opinion, corn, especially, is so weak and subtle in flavour that it is virtually untastable if its flavours are combined with oak, rye, or wheat. For nothing but the pure taste of one sub-variety of grain going on here, there is a lot of complexity in the True Blue. Personally, I prefer the brighter flavours of white or yellow corn to the flavour of blue corn, but, that said, this is a very interesting new whiskey to add to your mouth's encyclopedia of tasting experiences. This is quite pleasant to drink if you like the experience of new whiskies without the influence of wood.

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12 comments

@maltster
maltster commented

@victor I had the chance to sample the younger brother of this whisky - Baby Blue Corn Whisky - and I was very surprised: full and sweet nose, hints of carperter-shop, pear and hazelnuts. On the palate it was hot, corntortilla and again pear - like a chablis on steroids. Did you taste this Babyblue? I haven´t bought it because I think it is not worth €60,- (Austria Price). it´s overpriced

12 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@maltster, yes, many of these artisan distillery spirits are ridiculously expensive. While prices are of course lower in the US than in Europe by a big factor, $ 40-50 for new make or nearly-new make here compares poorly to many excellent aged whiskeys, which often cost half that amount in the US. I have had the Baby Blue, which is for me just OK. I much prefer the True Blue. The True Blue and Baby Blue are unique products: the taste of the blue corn is distinctive and different from the standard common yellow and white corn used for spirits. And, of course, the colour gives the lie to the commonly fashionable practice in the US of refering to unaged spirits as "white whiskey". This is unaged, and naturally blue. Just as the Canadian White Owl whisky is aged and white (colour filtered). If you can, try a sip of the undiluted True Blue. It is a lot more concentrated in its flavours than is the Baby Blue. Jim Murray liked True Blue enough to rate it 93.5 pts in his 2012 Bible, just 1/2 point shy of liquid gold status. I wouldn't go that far myself, but this is quite an interesting and enjoyable whiskey to experience.

12 years ago 0

@maltster
maltster commented

@victor, thank you for your opinion - I think I will give the True Blue a try if I can get some because in Austria my prefered Bourbonstore (www.grandwhisky.at) has only the Baby Blue in their selection. One more thing: although the products of artisan distilleries are pricy I´m glad that there are so many of them at last - even in Austria there are more than a dozen artisan producers of Whisky. I´ll have a toast on all the artisan distillers and on you dr.bourbon with a PVW 15 tonight which is not artisan but excellent...

12 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@malster, the Balcones Baby Blue appears to be marketed for the easy-drinking and cocktail-mixing circuit. The True Blue is not commonly available in the US and is more hard core specialty whisky afficionado oriented. I would love to sample all of those Austrian whiskies, artisanal and standard. We don't see them here, unfortunately. I smile at the thought of you with your glass of Pappy Van Winkle 15, and I shall gladly return your toast of PVW 15 this evening. Cheers!

12 years ago 0

@maltster
maltster commented

@victor, so be it...and maybe one day we see each other and share a wee bit of good and austrian whisky...;) Slainte!

12 years ago 0

@TheCooperedTot
TheCooperedTot commented

Unless this is a review of a special expression, you are in error about True Blue being unaged. Balcones' web site specifically states: "True Blue This is the cask strength bottling of the Baby Blue whisky. Also made from 100% roasted artisanal blue corn and aged in lightly charred new American oak barrels but for a much longer period of time. This allows the drinker to experience a deeper and richer wood expression that is balanced with the complexity and freshness of the highly prized blue corn." www.balconesdistilling.com/products

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@MCM
MCM commented

Yeah I'm pretty sure that when you distill anything you get a clear liquid. In the U.S. you aren't allowed to add coloring, but you could enhance the coloring if for example you were to age in smaller barrels even as small as 5 gallons would influence the color in a short amount of time.

11 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@TheCooperedTot and @MCM, yes, apparently there is wood aging of Balcones True Blue, of an unspecified length of time.

11 years ago 0

@TheCooperedTot
TheCooperedTot commented

Baby Blue is aged about 6 months, according to various blogging rumors. True Blue is stated to be older. Based on when it was released I'd guess 18 months to two years. Balcones is located in Waco Texas, and the warehouses get above 130 degrees F. in the summer. Chip Tate also uses a hybrid small cask / full size cask barrel management scheme. The heat and use of small casks for initial maturation promote rapid wood infusion. I'd never call these whiskies "mature" - but they are much more wood influenced than you would think given the probable ages.

11 years ago 0

BalconesWinston commented

Hey Victor,

Thanks for the review. To confirm what Coopered Tot said, our whiskies are indeed aged in oak barrels. We don't offer white spirits of any kind in our portfolio. In fact, our barrels are completely proprietary construction, custom made for us to best age our spirits and work with the Texas climate. 100% of the color of our whiskies come from the barrel. The corn does not influence the color of the spirit coming off the still, and we do not employ the use of any artificial coloring.

A Balcones fan pointed out your review to me, confused by your statement that our whiskies are unaged. To avoid further confusion in the future, can you edit your post with the correct information?

Feel free to email me if you have any questions! winston@balconesdistilling.com

Thanks,

Winston Brand Ambassador, Balcones Distillery

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@BalconesWinson, thank you for your feedback. I wish that I could edit my Connosr reviews, but that capability is not available through this website at this time. Occasionally I do find that I have made mistakes in the facts in a review, and would like to change the review. Currently, however, the only avenue available to offer corrected information on Connosr is in the comments column. I am glad that the accurate information regarding the wood aging of Balcones True Blue has been added to this comment trail. And, I would say, my affection and regard for True Blue has continuously risen over the course of having tasted a number of samples of it over time. I am now rasing my review rating score to reflect my additional very positive experience with True Blue.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Wills
Wills commented

Very interesting review and comments, thx to all of you. We had the discussion about editing the reviews, but I think it's OK like it is. For me the comments always belong to the written review. And the comments are often really fun to read and informative at the same time.

Slainte, I will taste my sample of Baby Blue very soon, the smell is distinctive!

10 years ago 0

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