16 January 2013

Balcones Single Malt "A Texan Triumph"

It has to be said that these are very exciting times for the whisky industry as a whole. In addition to the continued boom and bounty that pours out of Scotch-land, there’s an ever thriving throng of dramming delights popping up from all four corners of the globe.

Yes indeedy, from Tobermory and Tennessee to Taiwan and Tasmania we’re living within a wide and very wonderful world of whisky.

Over the last few years we’ve also seen a surge in new craft distilleries, such as the Balcones Distillery in Texas, which alongside a small army of others in the US is producing some amazing liquid Americana libations.
In only a few short years since opening its doors in 2008 and being the first to legally distil in Texas since prohibition, Balcones thanks to the passion and drive of its founder, president and head distiller Chip Tate, now boasts a real dramming bounty of delights. Including a dramspanking single malt, which exudes all the qualities you could wish for from a whisky of this style, whilst being a triumphant testament to Texan tenacity.
The nose kicks off with a deluge of dried fruit delights, in the form of dates, figs and sultanas, followed by a warm toffee apple, an overly ripe banana and a handful of chocolate covered coffee beans.
A slice of toasted granary bread smeared with vanilla infused honey make for the next set of nasal niceties, along with a bag of pink foam shrimps from the pick and mix, a single aniseed ball and an array of winter spices led by some rather charismatic cinnamon.
Waves of something very demerara rum-esque then add a defining level of balance, as does an edge opulent oak and something subtly coastal.
The palate kicks off with an eclectic and energetic charge of charred oak, autumn berries, plum jam and yet more of those dried dates and sultanas. But it’s not long before they’re joined by a more restraining bowl of baked pears and apples covered in a rich dark caramel sauce.
A big buttered slice of Soreen fruit malt loaf and a wave of vanilla infused corn syrup make for the next set of palatable pleasures, along with a drop of orange oil and the subtlest suggestion of Turkish delight.
A reappearance of those chocolate covered coffee beans and a rousing infusion of white pepper, cinnamon and the lingering essence from a Fisherman’s Friend lozenge, then lead this rich, confident and full throttle dramspanking dramming affair to a finish that’s as long and lingering as a Texan summer sunset.

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