Saturday, 16 March 2013

Whisky Discovery #323

Balcones True Blue NAS (60.1% abv)
Texan Corn Whisky
Circa £68.00 75cl
So moving onto No.3 of my Balcones Whisky Mission with True Blue. This was the third distilled spirit from the Texan distillery, first released in June 2010. 

Following on from their first whisky, Baby Blue, this too is a unique corn whisky made from roasted Atole, a Hopi blue corn meal. Chip Tate explains “We use this rich and nutty corn to produce a whisky that we hope will bring something new to the corn whisky tradition."

Artisan Whisky

Balcones is authentic craft whisky, unless you're doing it yourself in your garage, you couldn't get much more authentic. It has not been chill-filtered, coloured or otherwise unnecessarily tampered with to ensure that its full aroma and flavour are preserved. As a result, you may notice a slight haze or sediment in the bottle - signs of the rich oils and esters that have not been removed so that your whisky can be enjoyed as it was intended to be.

All of the Balcones range of distilled spirits are hand-crafted small batch spirits, made by passionate whisky makers in the distillery they built themselves. They hand write the batch number and individually stamp the Balcones' wax seal on each bottle.

Balcones whisky is mashed, fermented and distilled at  their distillery. They never resell whisky from other distilleries or source aged whisky barrels for blending under the Balcones label.

So What Did We Think?

The nose starts quite spicy, but this settles down quickly to become rich and creamy toffee like on the nose, with lots going on underneath. with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla pods, steamed sweetcorn which reminded me of  the sweetcorn we enjoyed along the side of the road in Mexico last summer (probably from a very similar corn to what has been used) There's a Brazil nut nuttiness to it and the coffee notes of when I rinse my cafetiere out at the end of the day, when the grounds have been sitting in the bottom of the pot.

One of the corn stalls we stopped at
This is quite sweet on entry, I wasn't expecting that with the high alcohol content, but it is remarkably smooth and really didn't need any water adding. The rich creamy toffee note that dominated the nose is here on the palate too, but there's a lovely spiced orange note, along with some green oak wood, vanilla and a baked pear with cinnamon flavour that is really pleasing. There's also a light salty tang.

The spiced orange remains on the finish with some white pepper and the oak tannins start drying the mouth feel at the very end, drawing me back for more.

This is a lovely drop of drammage and my favourite of the mission so far. Interestingly nosing the empty glass the following morning reveals rich clove and cinnamon notes from the the residue, which seems to have drawn moisture from the air, turning it cloudy. 

This is available in the UK and has been added to 'Dad's Whisky Wish List' for 2013. 

Many thanks to Johanne McInnis (@Whiskylassie) of The Perfect Whisky Match for sending samples and providing the bottle photographs

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