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92 points

Balcones Peated Texas Single Malt, 63%

Subtle and rounded smoke on the nose, balanced by lemon, grilled pineapple, and chocolate-chip cookie dough. A big, tannic, and chewy palate, chocolaty and extremely fruity—hints of Meyer lemon, grilled plums, walnut paste, and five-alarm chili wrapped in a thick, spicy smoke. A fiery finish benefits from water. Their first peated release and it’s a showstopper. (531 bottles; distillery only)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Balcones True Blue 100, 50%

Made from roasted Hopi blue corn. The nose says bourbon—sweet, corn, faint maple—but with big notes of stone fruits. It's lush. Mouth veers off in another direction with floury corn, oaked complexity, an herbal component, like crushed stems of wildflowers, and cinnamon/allspice notes. The finish is suddenly mellow, with a seductive creaminess high in the back palate. Even at a young 50%, never really fiery. Wonderfully complex, and not over-oaked; beautiful stuff.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

88 points

Balcones Brimstone, 53%

Distilled from roasted blue corn. The spirit itself, not the grain, is smoked over Texas scrub oak. Spicy Red Vines, herbal notes, and blackened corn aromas. An initial burst of fire on the palate transforms into juicy red fruit, sweet cinnamon apple, and hints of bramble and forest floor. An unusual and polarizing whiskey, Brimstone is aggressive at first, but in the end it’s a gentle giant.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

87 points

Balcones Texas Blue Corn Bourbon (Batch BCB17-1), 64.6%

The concentration here is impressive, as dates and raisins meet leathery oak that smells of a dusty tack shop, joined by some lovely cinnamon, clove, and spearmint. The intensity on the rich palate is face-melting, hot, and muscular. Sweet flan, caramel corn, and vivid spice succumb to a finish built for oak lovers, drying and a bit tannic, bringing the molten sweet flavors to an end too soon.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

86 points

Balcones True Blue Cask Strength Corn (Batch TB17-1), 68.3%

Baking spices, pipe tobacco, vanilla, citrus peel, cardamom, dried apricots, and dates unwind on the nose, carried by plenty of fresh oak. The potent palate explodes with up-front sweetness, laced with cocoa and maduro tobacco notes, but the chest-thumping herbal oak brings it to a quick and slightly bitter finish. A splash of water brings the elements into better balance as peach syrup sweetness starts to shine.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

85 points

Balcones Brimstone, 53%

Oddly smoky nose that grows on you — this is blue corn smoked with Texas scrub oak — you can smell burnt oak and light wreathings of corn. The first jolt is jalapeño without the heat, followed by a cornbread rush with a very light riff of smoke. The smoke builds to the finish and curls nicely around the corn. A very different whiskey experience; one I could get to like (could I try some with a plate of brisket?).

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)

82 points

Balcones Texas Single Malt Special Release Batch 1182/1285, 51.2%

Quite dark brown in the glass, and lots of vanilla and fruit — white grapes, pear — in the nose, with a sweet, clean floral character as well; a rich nose. Vibrant with malt and vanilla in the mouth, rather hot without water, and shot through with oakspice, which dominates the finish, though the vanilla struggles through. Water helps the heat in the middle, but not the finish. Texas is pretty darned hot!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)


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