Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Newest editions to the shop:
-Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky: Batch-SM12-2, Bottled: 2/13/2012, Finished Barrel: Yard Aged American Oak Ex-Bourbon, Alcohol: 53%(106 proof)
-Balcones Brimstone Texas Scrub Oak Smoked Blue Corn Whisky: Batch-BRM11-12, Bottled: 11/28/2011, Alcohol: 53%9106 proof)
-Balcones True Blue Cask Strength Texas Blue Corn Whisky: Batch-TB11-11, Bottled: 11/18/2011, Alcohol: 62.9%(125.8 proof)
As you probably know, I like me some whiskey. But I literally can't remember the last time I was this excited about a product. What President and Head Distiller Chip Tate is doing at Balcones micro distillery is nothing short of transcendent. His epicurean take on making craft spirits seems at this point peerless. Strong words indeed, but the level of unsurpassed quality coupled with the striking uniqueness puts these whiskys over the top for me.
For starters the Texas Single Malt is everything I never knew a single malt could be. It combines the elegance and grace of a single malt Scotch with the heavy char and oakiness of an American bourbon or rye. It's left at a higher proof, so the flavors are concentrated and well defined. Oh yeah and when they entered it in last year's New York World Wine & Spirits Competition it only won: Double Gold, Best Single Malt, Best Whiskey and Best Brown Spirit In Show! I kind of wonder if there has ever been a whiskey that dominated a competition as completely as Balcones Single Malt did.
Next we have the Brimstone Texas Scrub Oak Smoked Whisky and talk about a unique product! I'm not aware of anyone else making a product like this because the distiller actually smokes the whiskey right off the still, instead of smoking the grain before fermentation. The smoking process is a closely guarded secret, and with the amazing results their able to acheive I can understand why. I get flavors of smoked meats (like brisket), buttery corn bread, pipe tobacco and fresh cracked pepper with subtle hints of caramel and toffee that really balance out the experience.
Lastly we have the True Blue Cask Strength Blue Corn Whisky, this one was so good I'm actively working on trying to get a barrel bottled for our shop. Both the Brimstone and True Blue are made with roasted artisanal Hopi blue corn which is a distinction I think adds an incredible bouquet of flavors. I get notes of dark salted caramel, espresso, cinnamon, cracked pepper, dried chilies and orange blossom. The flavors are complex and lingering, more flavorful than I ever thought corn whisky could be.
Do yourself a favor and try these whiskies! I can't wait to see what Balcones does next.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Just landed the newest Buffalo Trace Experimental release! For this batch they decided to experiment with oats and rice, even using those grains both are still technically considered bourbons which makes me wonder why no one else is trying this. The oat release is a mash of corn, barley and oats. The rice release is similar with a mash of corn, barley and rice. Gotta say these look pretty awesome guys, I only got six bottles of each so don't wait to long if your interested. Cheers
I just put some Four Roses Limited Edition 2012 Single Barrel on the shelf. This year Jim Rutledge selected a 12 year bourbon with the OESK recipe. OESK signifies the higher corn mashbill (75% corn, 20% rye and 5% barley) and the yeast strain which produces a rich spiciness with flavors of mint and earth. Interestingly enough there were only 5,178 bottles produced, which I would guesstimate required about 25-30 barrels. Since each was bottled as a single barrel there will definitely be some variance barrel to barrel. I happened to get two different barrels, one that's 54.7% alcohol and one that's 52.2% alcohol. Hmmmm, I wonder which one is better? Only one way to find out........
I just released May Bourbon Club yesterday. This month we're featuring Smooth Ambler Old Scout! Head Distiller John Little of Smooth Ambler was kind enough to answer some questions for the club. I put the entire interview in the tasting notes. If your not a member feel free to stop by and pick up a bottle as I have plenty on the shelf as well. Cheers