As we ready to close the book on 2015, we take this opportunity to reflect on Balcones’ strongest year ever. From new whisky releases, to inspiring industry recognition, to building our dream distillery, it was action packed and full of wonderful surprises. This year brought us many great moments to be proud of, but none of it could have been possible without the support and encouragement of our friends and fans. Looking ahead to 2016, here are some of our favorite memories from the last year.
The 11th Street Project
Our greatest accomplishment this year is our biggest ever. After many years of laboring in a cramped, old welding shop under a bridge, we are finally ready to expand our operations and cement Balcones’ place in downtown Waco’s promising future. Balcones’ new home awaits just a few blocks away from our current distillery, inside the Texas Fireproof Storage Co. building, a historic landmark on 11th Street. With more space for bigger and better equipment, our craft will no longer be restricted by size. Magnificent new copper pot stills were hand-built by Forsyths of Scotland, and will boost our capacity significantly over the next several years. We plan to bring the new distillery online slowly over the next few months, with public tours beginning shortly after. Our excitement is beyond words, and we are grateful for your patience as we finalize this transition.
A True Honor
In 2015, our whiskies were honored more than ever with an exciting array of new accolades. Just in the past month, Balcones was declared the Grand Master of American Whisky at the Global Spirits Masters in London, with Texas Blue Corn Bourbon also receiving a Taste Master Medal. Additionally, the New York International Spirits Competition named us the Texas Distillery of the Year, and ‘1’ Texas Single Malt was the American Single Malt of the year at the World Whisky Awards, presented by Whisky Magazine. We plan to continue making a name for Texas whisky in 2016, and give Waco something to be proud of.
Bourbon as Bold as Texas
This year we launched our first batch of Texas Blue Corn Bourbon. A richly flavored Bourbon whisky, it is made entirely from roasted blue corn like Baby Blue and True Blue, but aged in new charred oak barrels. It delivers a deep, punchy experience that wowed our fans and critics alike, earning the whisky six new medals in blind tasting competitions. With only 200 cases of this remarkable whisky in our first bottling, it was no surprise that it sold out quickly. While we wish we could release more Texas Blue Corn Bourbon right away, we must patiently wait for our barrels to reach their full potential before bottling. We promise more is on the way, and it will be worth the wait.
We always say we make what we like to drink, and one thing we love to drink is good rye whisky. This past summer, we stayed true to our words and distilled several small batches of whisky made from a 100% mash of select specialty ryes. We don’t expect this new whisky to be ready for some time, but it is already blossoming into something quite special that we truly can’t wait to share with you. As a small bonus, we had enough rye to distill a few barrels of our first ever multi-grain whisky: a high-rye bourbon made with our house blue corn and barley, and several varieties of rye. Other great new spirits are also on the drawing board, so expect even more tasteful surprises in the future.
In November we launched our new web store, featuring select apparel and accessories adorned with Balcones’ name. Browse our shop at the link below and check back often, new items will be added regularly.
A New Chapter Begins
Such an outstanding year can only be eclipsed by the promise of an even more thrilling new year, full of possibilities. We can’t thank you enough for your support, encouragement, and patience over the years. None of our accomplishments would have been possible without it. All the waiting and anticipating will finally begin to pay off soon, and the reward will be sweet.
From all of us at Balcones, have a wonderful New Year!