Balcones Distilling Blue Corn Whiskies Take Center Stage

Balcones Blue CornThe story of Texas craft whiskey, up to this point, has mostly been written by Garrison Brothers and Balcones Distilling. The latter, widely known for its American single malt, also produces a line of corn-based whiskies which see less frequent release. Balcones has just now announced the 2016 batches of three of these are available starting this month, provided you are in their home state to get hold of one.

True Blue Cask Strength, True Blue 100, and Texas Blue Corn Bourbon, says Balcones, will be available in select retail and on-premise markets in Texas. Here are some footnotes on these releases, including tasting notes for each from the distillery:

True Blue Cask Strength Straight Corn Whisky (65.7% ABV)

  • 100% blue corn mash
  • bottled as Straight Corn Whisky, marking the first time it’s been released with any indication of age
  • biggest release of this bottling ever
  • not chill filtered
  • Nose: cookie dough, juniper, thyme, walnut shells, cinnamon, burnt sugar, cigar box
  • Palate: marmalade, burnt toast, dried apricot, caramelized sugar, carrot cake
  • Finish: long and lingering, brown sugar, tannin and oak

True Blue 100 Straight Corn Whisky (50% ABV)

  • 100% blue corn mash
  • bottled as Straight Corn Whisky, marking the first time it’s been released with any indication of age
  • not chill filtered
  • Nose: melted butter, pralines, toffee, pear skin, orange zest, ginger, vanilla
  • Palate: treacle, black pepper, fresh cut lumber, grilled poblano, agave syrup
  • Finish: medium long with char, citrus, ginger, eucalyptus

Texas Blue Corn Bourbon Straight Bourbon Whisky (64.9% ABV)

  • 100% blue corn mash
  • this year is only its second release ever
  • aged in new charred oak
  • natural cask strength of 64.9%
  • not chill filtered
  • saw an increase in age, allowing it to be labeled as Straight Bourbon
  • Nose: blue cotton candy, smoke, Mexican cola, burnt toffee, leather, sandalwood, milk oolong
  • Palate: spice cake, coffee, apple crisp, hot cinnamon candies, tobacco, tea leaves
  • Finish: long with mouth watering acidity, light tannin, dark cocao, burnt sugar
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“These special releases are all made in very small quantities and will be tightly allocated,” said Winston Edwards of Balcones in a prepared statement. “To get your hands on them, speak to your preferred retailer, or request your favorite bar to carry them. While we wish we could promise everyone a bottle, it’s just not possible at these volumes. Thankfully, we’re laying down a lot more whisky these days in our new distillery, so in time we will have plenty to share with you!”