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Balcones Distillery USA Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Balcones Rumble Cask Reserve

Review of a very special distillate from the innovative Balcones.

Origin: Texas (USA)
Type: Texas Spirit
Gradation: 66.1%ABV
Ageing casks: Virgin American Oak
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Balcones Distilling
Average price: € 80.00
Official website: balconesdistilling.com
Vote: 84/100

I am exceptionally betraying the spirit of the blog by dealing with a bottle that is neither whiskey nor whisky, not because it hasn’t reached the age necessary to earn the title, but because it isn’t the result of the distillation of cereals.
Balcones stands out for its inventiveness and continuous research outside the box, and this product (launched in 2013) confirms it.

It’s in fact a distillate from the fermentation of three elements: Wildflower honey, California missionary figs and Turbinado sugar (refined sugar with added molasses).
All, of course, with the addition of water.
In fact, today’s Rumble has very little water in it, since it’s a very full-bodied version, the result of a few casks that have been carefully chosen to produce a limited number of bottles, with each batch different from the next. The ‘normal’ Rumble is bottled at 47%.
In their own words, “eluding all categorisation by its composition and taste, Rumble represents a curious twist on the world’s spirits. […] It’s distilled twice in classic copper stills and matured in premium American oak casks. The result is an elegant and distinct distillate that we have come to love over the years. Rumble encapsulates the independent spirit of Balcones and continues to inspire us.”
Well, what do we do? Don’t we want to be inspired too?

Tasting notes

Mahogany in the glass, very dark.
An initial intense blast of spices greets the nose, with cloves and cinnamon, which only give way over time to scents of blood orange, ripe dates, caramel, pencil shavings and leather. The presence of wood is very strong, and at times there is an impression of glue. Not exactly what I expected, but not unpleasant either. There is no alcohol.
The palate is an explosion of spices and wood, very warm and tantalizing, with a hint of pepper and salt on the lips followed by consistent waves of toasted caramel, vanilla, honey, ripe figs, molasses. More processed leather in the background. It becomes dry on the length and the alcoholic charge emerges that hits hard.
Medium-long finish of dried fruit, caramel, wood shavings, spices, brown sugar.

Closer to a Bourbon than one might have thought, and less sweet than the composition might lead you to fear, this is an alternative and unusual dram, perhaps not with enough personality to be preferred, but still a very interesting and all in all successful experiment.

Reviews of Balcones whisky in the blog:
Balcones 1 Texas Single Malt Whisky Classic Edition
Balcones Brimstone
Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon
Balcones Texas Rye 100 Proof
Balcones True Blue Cask Strength

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