Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky
Handcrafted in small batches, Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky is made from 100% malted Golden Promise barley. Golden Promise is an early-maturing spring barley that has a depth of flavor ideal for single malts. While it was popular in Scotland for many years, it gave way to cheaper barely that was higher in yield but lower in quality.
After mashing the malted barley, they slowly ferment it at cool temperatures for seven days. Their fermentation process, which takes nearly twice as long as most other distilleries and is done at much lower temperatures, ultimately produces a richer, smoother whisky. After distillation, they age the whisky using a unique barreling process. "The main difference between Balcones and other single malts," they explain, "is the barreling. The cooperage we use and the care we put into blending and reblending the casks defines a lot of what makes our malt what it is. All of the barrels used are bespoke casks made from fully yard-aged oak with custom toast and char profiles."
While most single malts age in a single, large cask of a certain variety their entire lives (for Scotch, this is typically a used bourbon cask), they blend and rebarrel each cuvée of Balcones Texas Single Malt through several barrels of different sizes and oak profiles in order to create uniquely round and complex flavors. While a batch of Balcones Single Malt may begin aging in toasted American oak barrels, it may also age in French oak and European oak barrels before being bottled by hand.
"We go out of our way to prevent excessive wood extraction," they say. "With both small and large barrels, you risk a very strong wood profile in the Texas heat. By rotating the whisky, different characteristics emerge from each type of wood, depending on the size of the barrel, and how long the whisky rests inside."
For Balcones Distilling, creating the perfect Texas Single Malt Whisky is a labor of love. After the whisky has reached its peak of maturity, it is slowly proofed by hand. Each batch of Balcones Single Malt is then bottled and labeled with the type of wood in which the whisky was finished.
Nose of dried figs, caramelized sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Initial palette of cinnamon and sauteed pears. Slightly mellow mid-palate with notes of toasty malt and some nuttiness. Warm, drying finish with a subtle, roasted hazelnut flavor.