Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Whisky Discovery #347

Balcones Rumble Cask Reserve NAS (58.4% abv)
Texan distilled spirit
Not available in the UK yet
So onto our penultimate dram of our Balcones Whisky Mission, Spirit Number six is 'Rumble Cask Reserve' first launched in November 2011. This is a real bonus as I doubt many will get to taste this limited release. 

Chip explains "While making the rounds of tasting our barrels, I discovered a cache of older Rumble casks that had been all but forgotten. The spirit inside was remarkable - rich, delicious, and unique. I carefully mingled the best of these barrels to create Rumble Cask Reserve.  The result is so special I think it deserves to be preserved in its natural state - unfiltered and at full barrel proof. Each Rumble Cask Reserve bottling is very small and is meant to express different facets of this unique spirit. I hope you enjoy the differences between each bottling of this Texas innovation as much as you enjoy the spirit inside the bottle."

If you read my earlier post on Balcones Rumble, you'll have read that this is a 'one-of-a-kind' Texas spirit made from the finest local wildflower honey, mission figs, turbinado sugar and natural Texas Hill Country spring water all aged in small oak barrels. 

So What Did We Think?

The colour of this is rich and dark and with a very similar profile to the Rumble tasted alongside it. There are similar notes in both but the Cask Reserve Rumble has the flavours more accentuated, it tastes and feels different, slightly richer and more special.

The nose opens quite astringent at first, probably due to the higher abv, but it quickly settles down once the initial burn has evaporated off. The new leather note from Rumble has aged. The nose is still oozing with sweet honey, but there's more depth to it now, darker, richer, treacle-like with more of an aged Demerara rum note. The tobacco notes are richer too, more pipe tobacco than hand rolling tobacco. Yet underneath these rich and dark notes there appears to be some sharper fresher notes, zesty almost.

Left in the glass the nose evolves and becomes a little smoky, like a damp wood fire. Rich aniseed notes develop, as does smell of a tarpaulin, and old musty canvas tarpaulin or tent from boy scout camping trips

The palate is smoother than the Rumble, the slightly tart note has gone and, initially much sweeter and more like the aged Demerara rum we experienced a little while back. Spicy oak quickly coats the mouth and builds to a chilli-heat like burn before settling back to the sweeter notes, slightly smoky with lovely rich liquorice note and some richer fruit, like a baked pear with burnt sugar on top.

The finish is long and lingering, cloves come to mind, and there's a sweet yet earthy charred wood note that slowly fades as the tannins dry the mouth

Look out for Chip and Balcones at Whisky Live London on 22nd and 23rd March and if there's some Rumble Cask Reserve out for tasting, you really would be silly to pass on this, it is a great experience.

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

No comments: