Whiskey Review: Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Balcones. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

In Waco, Texas there is a distillery that’s making waves in the whiskey world for over a decade. Balcones Distilling has five staple whiskies offered year round, and one of the most current is the Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon. Made from their signature roasted blue corn, the mash bill also consists of Texas wheat, Texas rye, and malted barley, all of which is distilled in Forsyth pot stills.

A Forsyth still, named after engineer Alexander Forsyth, is hammered from copper to form a bulb at the base and tapered toward the top in a swan neck for distillate to siphon off. Stills were handmade with plates and rivets before the invention of Forsyth stills. This is problematic, if you can imagine, for a few reasons, mostly including unwanted leaks.

The saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” This definitely rings true for the Balcones Forsyth pot stills and the flavor profile of the Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon. The new permanent expression will appeal to current Balcones fans and those just discovering Balcones.

Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon

Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon (image via Courtney Kristijana/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon

Vital Stats: 46% ABV (92 proof); The mash bill consists of roasted blue corn, Texas wheat and rye, and malted barley; aged in charred new oak barrels for two years; 750mL is around $30.

Appearance: Red mahogany.  

Nose: From the nose, I get a ton of raisin. As it mixes with the oak notes, I pick up some cereal, and it is reminiscent of raisin bran. You really get the char on the nose. There is just a faint amount of cinnamon and baking spices.

Palate: Upon initial tasting, the baking spices and rye from the mash bill make this bourbon hot, but in a nice warming sense. There is a tiny bite from a bitterness similar to coffee and leather. The char stands out, and there is a mild amount of oak on the back end. The mouthfeel is creamy, but it really only is noticeable in the finish with a touch of straw. Not overtly sweet, nor does it have much of that raisin from the nose.

The Takeaway


The Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon has a whopper of flavor, and is a standout amongst other Balcones products. This one, however, to be fully enjoyed and appreciated really depends on the mood you're in and what you're looking for. It comes off hotter than other Balcones offerings, which I at first wasn't ready for. It is more reminiscent of a rye to me than a bourbon, so just be warned. It's not the very best from Balcones, but it is very good.

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