Origin: Texas (USA)
Type: Texas Single Malt Whisky
Ageing Barrels: American Virgin Charred Casks
Additional Coloring: No
Owner: Balcones Distilling
Average price: € 85.00
Official website: balconesdistilling.com
This time I have in my hands a real rarity, a barley malt distillate from the United States.
As is well known, the USA produces whiskey from various grains (corn and rye above all) but rarely from barley, not out of any particularity but because it is difficult to grow in the former British colonies.
And it took this small but lively Texas distillery to embark on the difficult task of creating a single malt, initially offered in an edition that could not yet be defined as a whisky because it was younger than the standard three years.
Founded in 2008 in Waco (the name of this town probably rings a bell), Balcones became operational the following year, distilling from blue corn from New Mexico, wheat and barley grown in Texas, with ageing in virgin casks of their own creation with different varieties of oak.
Bottling is then done by choosing from the various casks to create the different labels in their portfolio.
The distillery (which opened a new branch in 2016) offers many bottlings, from classic rye to blue corn, bourbon and single malt whisky, plus annual special editions.
An interesting experiment on American soil, well worth a try.
Intense mahogany in the glass.
The influence of the cask is clearly present on the nose, with a fresh scent of freshly cut wood, spiced with cardamom. The profile is predominantly sweet, almost winy, of red fruits, sultanas, ripe plums. Apple strudel. Simple but warming.
And if the nose was practically absent, on the palate the high alcohol content makes itself felt, with a nice burst of warmth that settles down in a short time, re-proposing the olfactory impressions almost in photocopy, always with wood as a leitmotif. The impression of (freshly baked) strudel is pre-eminent, pine nuts included, and makes the distillate flow with pleasure, perhaps even too much!
The finish is moderately long, spicy and a little dry, with wood, plums and apples.
A pleasantly disengaged dram, which even in its great youth manages to find its own personality, promising much promise for more aged versions.