Spirit Review: Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky (or Whiskey)

Balcones whisky. These lone star superstars know what they’re doing.

Texas is not known for whiskey. If anything, we’re known for beer. Lone Star. Stuff like that. Whiskey isn’t even from Texas. It’s from Kentucky and Tennessee, crappy states like that.

Just kidding, Tennessee.

But think back to the old west, and whiskey has to come to mind. Lonesome Dove is full of whiskey-swilling cattle drivers who get drunk and lose their cool. Or they get drunk and regain their cool, depending on the character. Like George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga, Larry McMurtry’s characters find their courage and their doom at the bottom of a whiskey jug. And Larry McMurtry was killing off your favorite characters long before Martin came along and started killing off practically everyone.

I have hopes that Tyrion will rise from the dead, though.

So even though whiskey isn’t what Texas is known for, we do know whiskey (or whisky, as Balcones iconoclastically calls it). And Balcones makes some of the best whiskey in Texas.

The nose is oaky and spicy, of allspice or cardamon. There’s just a hint of smoke with some dried fig on the back. It’s sweet, with butterscotch and toffee. As far as whiskey goes, it’s up there with the best.

And I’m from Texas, so I know what I’m talking about.

P.S. If you haven’t read the books, I guess you don’t know about Tyrion’s death. Too bad for you.

2 thoughts on “Spirit Review: Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky (or Whiskey)”

  1. I have a few questions. Is Chip Tate making whiskey somewhere else yet?

    Have you seen any change in Balcones since they ousted him?

    I never noticed they were putting whisky on their bottles and not whiskey. What the hell?

    1. Yes, in fact, I read that Tate has started another distillery. Their website is here: http://tatedistillery.com/

      But I don’t think they have a product yet. At least I haven’t seen or read about it.

      I haven’t done a before and after, so I can’t say anything about changes in the whisky. Sorry.

      Yeah, it’s a little weird, especially for Americans that specialize in bourbon, a distinctly American spirit. The Japanese generally call theirs whisky, but they’re copying the Scottish, so it makes sense.

      I hope Vermont is treating you right!

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