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%:
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.
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.
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.