About Balcones Texas Single Malt Single Barrel (Caskers Staff Pick)
Handcrafted in small batches, Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky is made from 100% malted Golden Promise barley. Golden Promise is an early-maturing spring barley that has a depth of flavor ideal for single malts. While it was popular in Scotland for many years, it gave way to cheaper barely that was higher in yield but lower in quality.
After mashing the malted barley, they slowly ferment it at cool temperatures for seven days. Their fermentation process, which takes nearly twice as long as most other distilleries and is done at much lower temperatures, ultimately produces a richer, smoother whisky. After distillation in pot stills, they age the whisky using a unique barreling process. “The main difference between Balcones and other single malts,” they explain, “is the barreling. The cooperage we use and the care we put into blending and reblending the casks defines a lot of what makes our malt what it is. All of the barrels used are bespoke casks made from fully yard-aged oak with custom toast and char profiles.”
This expression is a Carskers-Staff barrel pick. It’s a showcase of their attention to detail that starts with the selection of grains and continues with the meticulous selection of barrels. Normally, their Texas “1” Single Malt is aged in a combination of new & used American, French, and Hungarian oak casks. This one spent its 4 years in a new American oak barrel ― the same kind that is known for bringing sweet notes to bourbon.
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Situated in Texas where the extreme and rapid temperature swings make the barrels “breathe” much faster, Balcones Distilling started as a passion project in an old Texas weldin shop in 2009. Today, this is one of the most unique, grain to glass craft distilleries out there. Using only the best of ingredients from blue corn grown in New Mexico to the first malted barley grown in Texas and handmade Scottish Forsyths copper-pot stills, Balcones pays special attention to the barrels. They consider oak to be an ingredient in whisky as well and their barrels are all customized. Balcones whisky is aged in several barrel types for a more complex flavor profile. Besides Balcones whisky which is adored for its bold and intense flavors, they also make rum.
About American Whiskey
There’s equally strictly regulated American single malt, made from 100% malted barley, Tennessee whiskey, essentially bourbon filtered through maple charcoal and aged in new charred oak barrels.
And then there’s moonshine, a high proof (150- 170 proof) distilled spirit mainly made out of corn which gained popularity during the prohibition.