Blue Corn Bourbon and True Blue Distillery Release this Saturday!

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It’s that time of year again! Our annual releases of Balcones Texas Blue Corn Bourbon and True Blue Cask Strength will be available starting this Saturday at the distillery. Both distilled from our prized roasted blue corn, these whiskies are only available for a limited time, and are sure to excite whisky lovers everywhere. As always, these two whiskies are bottled at full cask strength for an intense and lasting experience.

Our distillers recently spent some time with each whisky last week and prepared the following tasting notes:


 

bluecornburbonhigh-reswhite_9886Texas Blue Corn Bourbon 17-1, 64.6%

Nose: leather, varnish, eggnog, roasted nutshell, Crème brûlée, hints of mint, dark chocolate and dried leaves

Taste: rich caramelized sugars and creamy notes of custard and eggnog balance bittersweet nuts, black tea and molasses

Finish: Crème brûlée and eggnog fade to hints of nutmeg and dried fall leaves


 

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True Blue Cask Strength 17-1, 68.3%

Nose: Fall honey, roasted chestnuts, candy corn, brown butter polenta cake, hints of leather and oak smoke

Taste: Sweet and savory corn syrup, vanilla, pecan shell, burnt sugar, hints of rose water

Finish: Long finish starts spicy and opens up to floral notes before fading to dry nutshell linger


 

Sales of these two whiskies will start at 1pm on Saturday at the distillery’s whisky shop in Waco. We have fairly sufficient quantities of each one available, but they will only be available first come, first serve! As a reminder, each distillery visitor can legally purchase a maximum of two (2) bottles, every 30 days. If you have purchased the legal maximum on or after September 20, you will be unable to purchase any whisky on site until 30 days from that purchase. Additionally, customers purchasing either whisky will be limited to one (1) of each. We will also have our usual selection of ‘1’ Texas Single Malt, Baby Blue, Rumble, and Brimstone available.

If you can’t make it to our gift shop on Saturday, do not worry! Plenty of both whiskies are heading for our Texas distributor soon, and will be available at your local retailer before the holidays. Keep an eye out, or contact your favorite liquor store to get on their waiting list.

June Special Distillery Release: Texas Single Malt Single Barrel

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Practically every bottle of our prized Texas Single Malt you buy is a special mingling of several casks hand selected by our distillers. “Blending” (not to be confused with blended whisky) is the process by which casks are chosen to be married together to create a composed and consistent product. This is necessary because no two barrels are exactly alike – there’s always some bit of variation in flavor and aroma and it takes a team of hardy palates to pick apart the differences and decide which casks will work together in a batch for bottling. However, every now and then, we discover a cask of whisky that stands alone in its character, and deserves to be preserved by itself…

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve recently bottled cask #4749, a single barrel of our prized Texas Single Malt. At 38 months, it is the oldest single malt whisky we’ve ever released, and probably the oldest ever made in Texas. It was preserved at its natural cask strength of 64% ABV. Fans of our FR.OAK Texas Single Malt from 2014 will be very pleased to know that this particular whisky aged entirely in French oak, which adds a unique dimension to the whisky. Our distillers have prepared the following tasting notes for you:

Barrel #4749, French Oak, 38 Months

Mature oak and oiled leather on the nose, with rich nutty notes and hints of oxidized sherry punctuated by an herbal spiciness. The palate starts rich and sweet with spiced plum, building to black tea and molasses. The finish has sweet leather and iced tea with a bit of an acid kick before dry spice flavors evolve over the long and drying finish.

We’ll be releasing Texas Single Malt Single Barrel exclusively at our gift shop at 1pm this Saturday, June 24. A single barrel is just that, a lone cask we selected on its own, so we only have 180 bottles of this whisky to sell. Show up early to guarantee yours!

Sales of Texas Single Malt Single Barrel are first come, first serve, and limited to one (1) per person. Guests that have purchased the legal limit of two bottles in the past 30 days will not be eligible to make any liquor purchases at the distillery until that period has passed, per state law, no exceptions. Valid, government-issued 21+ ID required with all liquor sales. No concessions will be made for out of stock products. In other words, once it’s gone, it’s gone!

A small number of tasting flights including Texas Single Malt Single Barrel will be available in our tasting room starting at 1pm, until sold out.

We have all kinds of fun, new, unique, and tasty Texas whiskies and spirits to bring you this year. Join our email list or Like us on Facebook to get the latest info on our distillery releases and other special events at Balcones Distilling! Tours are available by reservation, log on to www.balconesdistilling.com/visit to schedule yours.

Introducing Texas Rum: Single Barrel PX Finish! Distillery release this Saturday!

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At Balcones, our distillers are constantly tinkering with our spirits to bring new and interesting flavors to your glass. From meticulous barrel selection, to subtle changes in our fermentation process, we’re always on a quest to deliver bold-tasting and original Texas spirits. Often these experiments only yield a couple of barrels, and there simply isn’t enough juice to do meaningful, full market launches for these typically one-off bottlings. Because we still want to share these explorations with our fans, we have begun trickling out small quantities of our distillers’ “R&D” casks, straight from the distillery gift shop. In continuation of these limited, distillery-only releases, we’re very proud to introduce Texas Rum Single Barrel, a unique variant that will begin to explore curiosities with our award-winning spirit. For the first single barrel of rum we’ve ever released, we decided to work with a tradition that we get really excited about: cask finishing.

Ever since we started distilling nine years ago, we’ve always stressed the importance of wood because of how intrinsically woven it is in the flavor and traditions of aged spirits. This is not merely about age, but about types of oak, stave treatment, and perhaps most familiarly, the previous contents held in a cask. Many distillers employ used barrels from production of various drinks to impart flavors and aromas into their spirits that could not be achieved with their ingredients and processes alone. In some cases, an exotic barrel type may be fundamental to the style known from that distillery. One of the most popular barrels for finishing whisky and spirits in is sherry, a fortified wine, and one of our favorite styles of sherry is Pedro Ximénez (PX). PX sherry is a rich, sweet dessert wine with intensely dark, dried fruit character, giving lots of raisin, fig and prune-like notes. Naturally, we had to seek some of these delicious casks out to age our spirits in, so last year we bought a parcel of PX barrels. Since then, we have been patiently creating enticing variants of our spirits in them, including our small batch rum.

Each bottling of our annual Texas Rum release is a unique blend of a handful of casks, sometimes as few as three, but always more than one. With a single barrel, the one-of-a-kind character of that cask is now presented by itself, usually because it is unique and worth preserving in its singular form. In this case, after being delighted by the results of barrel finishing explorations, we have chosen a cask of rum, finished in PX sherry for 7 months, to bottle as our very first Texas Rum Single Barrel!

Our distillers have prepared the following tasting notes on the Texas Rum Single Barrel (PX Finish), 61.7%:

Nose

The PX sherry dominates the nose with rich raisin and plum. Notes of barbecued meats and fruit char-grilled Hawaiian pork call to mind. Adding water opens up pungent dry spice notes of white pepper, clove and allspice.

Palate

The palate shows rich and slightly tangy impressions of prune juice, balanced by figgy and date-like sweetness, and more dry spice. Rummy molasses flavors blend with candied orange peel and cocktail cherries.

Finish

The big, grapey finish is again balanced by intense sweetness and grippy tannins. The initial hit quickly drops off to a slow fade with hints of cola eventually yielding to the sherry impression.

If you want to get your hands on this interesting take on Balcones Texas Rum, we’ll be releasing it exclusively at our gift shop at 1pm on Saturday, May 20. Because there’s only so much rum in a single barrel, this release will be extremely limited and we expect it to sell out very quickly. We don’t currently have plans to release more single barrels of PX-finished rum – this may be your one and only chance to get a hold of this truly special dram!

Sales of Texas Rum Single Barrel (PX Finish) are limited to one (1) per person. Guests that have purchased the legal limit of two bottles in the past 30 days will not be eligible to make any liquor purchases at the distillery until that period has passed, per state law, no exceptions. Valid, government-issued 21+ ID required with all liquor sales. First come, first serve; no bottles will be held. No concessions will be made for out of stock products. In other words, once it’s gone, it’s gone!

A small number of tasting flights including Texas Rum Single Barrel will be available in our tasting room starting at 1pm, until sold out.

We have all kinds of fun, new, unique, and tasty Texas whiskies and spirits to bring you this year. Join our email list or Like us on Facebook to get the latest info on our distillery releases and other special events at Balcones Distilling! Tours are available by reservation, log on to www.balconesdistilling.com/visit to schedule yours.

Spring Dinner at the Distillery on Friday, May 19th at 6:30pm

Happy Harvest Spring Dinner at Balcones Distillery

Balcones Distilling is excited to partner with Happy Harvest and The Home Grown Farm to host a Spring Dinner at the Distillery on Friday, May 19th at 6:30pm. With Happy Harvest’s locally grown and seasonally prepared produce paired with Balcones’ tasty cocktails and whiskies – it is going to be a dinner you don’t want to miss!

Texas Single Barrel Straight Whisky Distillery-Only Release Saturday 3/11!

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Although Balcones is obviously a highly efficient, well-oiled machine, there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances that force us to think on our feet and make last minute adjustments. Three years ago, in the middle of a blue corn cook, we realized we were out of enzymes. In a moment that can only be described as divine inspiration, we grabbed some of our Golden Promise malted barley to provide its diastatic power and complete the starch conversion needed for fermentation. Since we had already deviated from our usual recipe, we decided to have a little fun and threw in a variety of specialty rye samples we had lying around to unintentionally create our first ever multi-grain mashbill.

The result of this accidental experiment yielded us two very unique and delicious barrels of Texas whisky, each being distinct and of exceptional character. Our distillers Jared and Zack took ownership of each barrel separately and have nurtured them slowly for the last three years, choosing a different combination of cooperage tailored to their personal liking. We have preserved the whiskies as single barrels, and at cask strength, so that you may try both side by side and experience the differences an individual cask can impart upon the spirit. Our distillers have prepared the following tasting notes for each barrel:


“J” Cask 2618 67.3% ABV

Nose: sweet mild leather, candied almonds, maple syrup, vanilla, orange zest, fruitcake, wood varnish

Palate: Boston baked beans, orange creamsicle, tobacco/leather, molasses

Finish: long and round with acidity, cinnamon stick, char, pecan shell, Crème brûlée

“Zee” Cask 13096 64.4% ABV

Nose: clove, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, French vanilla, black tea, stewed apples, hoisin sauce

Palate: molasses, bitter orange peel, cola, fruitcake

Finish: big woody dryness before easing up on the long spice fade


 

There are very limited quantities available and all purchases are first come, first serve only. These whiskies are one-of-a-kind and will likely never been seen again, so arrive early to guarantee yours. Each customer is allowed purchase of up to one (1) each of these two very special whiskies, for a total of two (2) bottles. Due to state law, if you have purchased bottles at the distillery on or after February 9, 2017, you are ineligible to make any more liquor purchases from us until 30 days after your last purchase.

Our gift shop opens at 1pm on Saturday, March 11th. We expect this to sell out fast, so arrive early to secure yours. Valid 21+ ID required. No concessions will be made for out of stock products.

SOLD OUT: Staff Selection Single Barrel Release Saturday!

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SOLD OUT: Thank you everyone that joined us today for this very special release! All of the bottles have been sold. We’ll have more distillery releases coming up this year, follow us on social media or join our email list for the latest updates.


 

Each year, we pay homage to our amazing team with the release of our annual Staff Selection series. The whisky was not only mashed, distilled, barreled and bottled by these very dedicated and passionate folks, but hand selected by them as well. For our 2016 edition, bottled just last month, they have elected to choose a delicious cask of our Texas single malt whisky. Originally distilled in July of 2015, this whisky was aged in American oak originally, and then finished for six months in Hungarian oak. The marrying of these two oaks delivers a complex and unique profile that is a different animal from our typical release ‘1’ Texas Single Malt, Classic Edition. Bottled at its natural cask strength and never chill filtered, it’s sure to be a whopper! Our distillers have prepared these tasting notes:

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2016 Staff Selection Single Barrel, Texas Single Malt Whisky, 63.9% ABV

Nose
Rich brown sugar and walnuts; dried fruit notes of apple and fig, hints of oiled leather and toasty oak.

Taste
Sweet, almost syrupy impression of pralines & cream, graham cracker and burnt toffee with a nip of orange marmalade emerging to lend balance.

Finish
Dry wood spice grips the palate before revealing notes of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg on the moderately lengthy fade.

Due to each Staff Selection being only a single barrel of whisky, each release is extremely limited. Less than 90 bottles will be available at the distillery gift shop starting at 1pm tomorrow, February 4th. Once they’re gone, they’re gone, so we recommend arriving early to secure yours. Staff Selection Single Barrel will be limited to one (1) per person, however some of our other whiskies and spirits will also be available to purchase. The legal limit for liquor purchases is two bottles per person, every 30 days. If you purchased up to two (2) bottles on or after January 5th, we unfortunately cannot allow you to purchase Staff Selection or any of our other expressions until 30 days after your last transaction.

Our gift shop opens at 1pm tomorrow. We expect this to sell out fast, so arrive early to secure yours. Valid 21+ ID required. No concessions will be made for out of stock products.

Baby Blue and ‘1’ Texas Single Malt Now Available in Virginia and North Carolina!

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We’re very excited to announce that we are steadily growing our partnership with Southern Glazer’s to add several new markets to our national footprint. Starting right away, two of Balcones’ most acclaimed whiskies will be available for ordering by retailers in both Virginia and North Carolina, with more on the way. Both Baby Blue, the first Texas whisky ever legally sold in the country, and the award-winning ‘1’ Texas Single Malt are being added to ABC store shelves now.

Baby Blue is a whisky distilled from a mash of 100% blue corn.  Released in 2009, it has earned recognition from numerous critics and judges, and has been awarded two Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition, and been named Taste Master by The Spirits Business’ 2016 World Whisky Masters. Baby Blue has a fresh aroma of roasted corn, vanilla, honey and soft oak, with flavors of masa, agave, cocoa, and a light, buttery finish. Our most approachable expression, it is bottled at 92 proof.

‘1’ Texas Single Malt is known to enthusiasts and tasting experts alike as world-class whisky, having earned only 60 awards from internationally recognized blind tasting events, such as being named American Single Malt of the Year by Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards three years in a row. Made from Golden Promise barley, ‘1’ Texas Single Malt is aged in a variety of oak barrels, making each batch unique and memorable. The nose expresses notes of chocolate, caramel, coffee and clove, while the palate reveals flavors of toasted bread with butter, roasted fruits, cinnamon and sweet malt. Bottled at a whopping 106 proof, the whisky provides an intense experience but finishes clean.

All of Balcones’ whiskies are produced from grain to glass at our distillery in downtown Waco, TX. Our whiskies are only mixed with great tasting Hill Country spring water, and never artificially colored, flavored or sweetened. We employ non-chill filtering to retain as much of the rich flavors and aromas from our oak casks as possible. To learn more about our story and whiskies, please visit www.balconesdistilling.com

Customers seeking to purchase Baby Blue and ‘1’ Texas Single Malt can inquire with their local ABC stores, and request it if they do not carry it!

Balcones currently distributes in Texas, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Connecticut, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia. We’ll be gradually expanding that list over time, once we have enough whisky!

Balcones Winter Update: Tours, Rumble Cask Reserve Distillery Release, and More!

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It’s been quite the season for us at Balcones Distilling. As you have probably heard, we recently opened our new distillery to the public earlier this month! Things started with a bang at our Downtown Debut event, in which we welcomed over 500 lucky fans an opportunity to sneak peek at the distillery and bring home some extra special limited edition whiskies to commemorate our opening. Things are now in full swing for the next couple of months and we wanted to update you with some announcements!

Rumble Cask Reserve Bottle Sale This Saturday (December 3, 2016, 1-7pm)

We are very happy to announce that the latest batch of Rumble Cask Reserve is bottled and will soon be on its way to retailers across Texas. However, this Saturday only, we will release a small quantity of bottles at our gift shop for our Waco community. Our gift shop will open promptly at 1pm on Saturday, and Rumble Cask Reserve will be available on a first come, first serve basis only, so we recommend arriving early to guarantee your bottle, one per guest only. Due to limitations set by the State of Texas, if you purchased our two special editions at the Downtown Debut, or any other bottles at our gift shop after November 3rd, you will not be eligible to purchase Rumble Cask Reserve at our December 3rd release. You are welcome to call us on or after December 12th to inquire if any bottles are left. We are releasing the majority of this batch to our distributor in Texas, so you will soon find it on the shelf at your local liquor store, where available.

This year’s batch of Rumble Cask Reserve is very special to us and will surely delight our most eager fans. As always, Rumble Cask Reserve is bottled at cask strength and non-chill filtered. Our distillers put together these tasting notes for your reading pleasure:

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To learn more and discover Rumble Cask Reserve, please visit www.balconesdistilling.com/rumble-cask-reserve

Balcones Visitor’s Center is Now Open

The new Balcones Distillery is now available for tours, tastings, and more! We are now hosting guided tours of the facility, by reservation only, three days a week. Tours are available at 5:15 on Thursdays and Fridays, and at 2:00 and 5:15 on Saturdays. There is limited space is available in each tour group; tickets are first come first serve. Currently, we are booked through the rest of 2016, but some tours are still available in January. We will be temporarily suspending our tour program starting in February to make room for two more copper pot stills from Scotland, but hope to resume again in late March or early April. To book your tour today, please visit www.balconesdistilling.com/visit

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Our gift shop is now also open to the public, with no appointment required. Hours are 2-7pm on Thursday and Friday, and 1-7pm on Saturday. Inside the gift shop you will find new merchandise, as well as bottles of our award-winning whiskies and spirits for sale. Bottle sales are restricted to two (2) per person, every 30 days, and only select bottles of our core range are available. The gift shop will be open during our February and March construction, but please check our website or Facebook page for any special exceptions or closings. For unrestricted purchasing of our whiskies, please visit your local Texas retailer.

If you’re unable to visit our gift shop in person, we will be re-launching our online store very soon! Stay tuned to our website and Facebook for the latest updates.

Holiday Closings

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So that our beloved staff may enjoy this upcoming holiday season with their families, Balcones will be closed from December 24th to January 4th, and reopen on January 5th. We will be open for business on December 22nd and 23rd, so if you need any last minute gifts for the whisky lover in your life, feel free to drop in during our open hours (2-7pm) on those afternoons.

 

Thank You!

In the end, where we stand today would not have been possible without the unending and unconditional support of our friends and fans. You have all made our endeavors not just worthwhile, but satisfying too, and we owe these great achievements to those that have stuck by us over the years. This is just the beginning of a wonderful chapter in our story, and we’re thrilled to share it with you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We hope everyone has a safe and pleasant holiday season. See you in 2017!

Balcones Retail Store Opens Today! Limited Supplies of Commemorative Editions Available

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We are happy to announce that, in addition to our weekly tours, Balcones is now open for bottle and merchandise sales directly from the distillery!  Our new store hours are 2-7pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and 1-7pm on Saturdays*. At our gift you shop will be able to purchase select bottles of our core whiskies, tasting glasses, apparel, and more.

Also, this week only, we have a limited supply of the commemorative editions of Baby Blue Cask Strength and Texas Single Malt Cask Strength, bottled exclusively for our Downtown Debut last week. Only 1,000 of these special releases were bottled and most were sold at the event, with less than a hundred of each remaining. These will be available starting today and will be first come, first serve. Once they’re gone, they’re gone! Get here early to secure yours. No concessions will be made for out of stock products.

Bottle sales are restricted by law to two (2) per person every 30 days. If you were one of our lucky guests for the Downtown Debut and purchased your two bottle maximum, then you will not be eligible to purchase more bottles until at least December 12, 2016. You must be 21 or older to purchase any spirits.

If you can’t make it to our distillery to purchase a bottle, they are always available at retailers across Texas. Make sure to ask for it by name!

Tours are now available to book on our website, please reserve your spot online by navigating to www.balconesdistilling.com/visit.  As always, make sure to follow us on Facebook to get the latest news and updates about our tours, events, and whisky sales!

*Balcones Distilling will be closed to the public during the week of Thanksgiving. The visitor’s center will open again on Thursday, December 1.

Balcones Distillery Winter Tour Schedule Starts This Week!

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After years of planning, dreaming, and building, we are finally ready to welcome our loyal fans to the recently revived Texas Fireproof Storage building, the new home of Balcones Distilling. Converting the nearly 100-year-old structure into a craft whisky distillery proved to be an immense undertaking, one that we approached with considerable care to not only preserve the character of the building, but to continue producing whiskies of great character. Nearly two years after starting construction, we’re thrilled to share what we’ve built with the rest of the world.

This past weekend we welcomed over 500 people for a sneak peek of the new distillery for a day of community, celebration, and, of course, whisky. Tickets sold out almost immediately, so if you missed out on that opportunity, reservations are now available for guided tours on select dates!

All tour booking will be handled online through our website. Tours will take place at 5:15pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with one additional tour on Saturday at 2pm. At this time we are not accepting walk-ins, so please book your tour soon as they will fill up fast! A fee of $10 is required when you schedule your visit, and includes a guided tour of our facilities with one of our whisky experts, finishing with a complimentary sampling at the end. Select bottles from our core range of whiskies and spirits will be available for purchase, as well as all-new merchandise.

Come behold the beautiful copper pot stills from Scotland, see our grain silos and fermenters, and taste award-winning whiskies in a fun and also educational experience that walks you through the whisky making process from grain to glass.

Due to planned expansion happening early in 2017, our tour program will come to a conclusion at the end of January, and then resume later in the year once construction is complete. Book now to guarantee your spot, and stay tuned for a special bottle sale also happening at our retail store very soon. Details will be announced tomorrow!

Tours are restricted to those 19 and up, and only those 21 or older may sample any of our spirits. Whisky sales are restricted to two (2) 750ml bottles per person, every 30 days. If you joined us for our Downtown Debut and purchased your maximum bottles, you must wait until after December 12, 2017 to legally purchase bottles again. For more information, and to book your visit to Balcones, please click the link below! We can’t wait to see you.

Book your tour: http://www.balconesdistilling.com/visit