Balcones "1" Texas Single Malt Whisky Classic Edition

By Mike B

There is a wizard in Waco. He turns ordinary fruits of the earth into precious memories. He spins gold. 

The Alchemist is Chip Tate, and he has found not only the right ingredients but also the processes to put America at the top of the artisan spirits game. His Balcones Texas Single Malt has made the world notice and acknowledge that a moonshiner by any other name is still a craftsman and artist.

After a feud with his board at Balcones (the distillery he founded less than ten years ago), Chip is now able to craft his original recipes at Tate & Co., and who knows what else he has up his sleeve. The Balcones "1" Single Malt Classic Editions is a very private single malt with as unique a signature as the price merits. It feels handmade like a Rolls…a one of a kind classic that must still be turning heads throughout the global market….Can you imagine what will be aging in the barrels at Tate & Co? “1” would be great with a Jamaican (not Cuban)…better yet….break out the pipe!

Balcones "1" Single Malt (Classic Edition)

Balcones Distilling - Waco, Texas
106 proof
$80 at ABC in Richmond, VA
Batch: SM 16-9; finishing date: 10-31-16

Color

Smoky topaz with reddish hues.

Nose

Smooth toffee aromas out of the bottle, but BIG, round and pungent English Ale as you start to sip it. Not even a suggestion of peat but still an American Scotch. While the barley is a big part of this treat….the wood it lived in makes all the difference in the series of seamless transitions you will experience. Full alcohol in the whole bowl that easily fills your nostrils without any pain. 

Tasting Notes

There’s a comfort to this like crusty yeasty bread dipped in warm grey stew. The smoke is not a sugary charred barrel but rather an often used but cold fireplace in a country cabin. Some wet newspaper that went dry and lost all the crispness out of its fiber…soft nuttiness like pecans/roasted chestnuts still in their shell, some ripe apricot.

You get old twisted weathered oak not the usual bright crisp American Oak. It takes a while to decipher that there isn’t that much spice but rather, slow cooked lamb bone marrow and tons of wonderful, flavorful GLUTEN! The mid-palate overproof burn turns to a long lasting final glow down into the bread basket. Numbs the gums.

Overall

A big, pudgy "A" . . . and a ROAD TRIP TO TEXAS!