Balcones is a small distillery in Waco, Texas. It is the only distillery in Texas, which feels a bit weird for such a large state. Its also believed to be the only distillery distilling a blue corn mash. Unfortunately, I have never been to that corner of the world, but my friend Tom was taken there by his misses last year. He brought some and gave me a few samples!
The blue corn is a crop mostly used by native Americans, and this particular variety has been used by Hopi Indians for thousands of years.
Balcones Baby Blue
This is a very spirity one. It is incredibly young, but it also tastes the part. A scent like vodka is what I get the most. I think this one needs a lot more time in the cask. It actually makes me scared to taste it!
The flavour is a bit better but it feels very thin and volatile with a hint of alcohol. Not as sweet as I expected it to be. The slight burn fades quickly and reveals something of a vegetable flavour.
The finish reminds of a kind of candy I can’t put my finger on. Rather frustrating, since I almost got it several times!
I’m not overly fond of this one, but I am quite curious how it develops and like to taste it again after a few years of mellowing in a barrel!
Balcones Baby Blue, 46%, Batch BB10-08, Bottled 17-3-2010. Available at Master of Malt for €50
Balcones True Blue
This is the cask strength version of the Baby Blue, so I expect a lot more flavour and punch from it! The nose starts off with a comparable spirity scent, but is a lot more fresh and crisp. A little sulphury with vegetable notes, but quite a bit better than the Baby Blue.
I got quite a whack of alcohol that you sometimes get when tasting spirit but this one also has some of the spiciness you get in some bourbons.
The finish is quite long and spicy again. Not bad at all.
The True Blue has a lot more flavour apart from being just spirit, and I like that much more than the other one.
Balcones True Blue, 61.3%, Batch TB10-1, Bottled 10-6-2010
So far, not so good. I really hope they give these whiskies some more time in the barrel. I think they are really on to something here, but not quite there yet!