Made in Texas by Balcones using a secret process to produce the smoke element involving sun-baked Texas Scrub Oak.
Appearance: Dark auburn, really dark, like it’s been charred. Large beads are linked by the substantial swirl mark, before slowly morphing into teardrops. Big thick legs form and stick to the glass for an age.
Nose: Stewed orchard fruits, confectionary sugar and freshly drilled wood greet the nose first. Darker fruits, sherry trifle sponge and a trace of corn or cereal.
As the glass matures, so too does the smokey element of the dram. It’s like someone’s blow-torching cherries and dried fruits.
It’s a lovely rich and multi-layered experience, with plenty to explore.
Palate: A semi-viscous mouthfeel. The delivery is a lovely mix of gentle Christmas spices, caramel, cherry-encrusted chocolate and meat smoker.
Again, like the nose, it has richness and balance, nothing offputting as yet.
The corn element is ever-present, adding a mellow, creamy and vanilla side to the dram.
Finish: Rich and long. The chocolate cherry, spice and caramel go on for ages. A slightly peppery tingle emerges late on too.
Overall: Another really great quality whiskey from Balcones. I’ve been really impressed with these guys.