Boozehound Unfiltered: Balcones Baby Blue

A trip to Texas all but demands that you get ahold of some Texas whiskey of some kind and this trip was no exception. I had heard about Balcones Baby Blue- and indeed, Balcones in general a few years back and I've been keeping an eye out up here to see if any of their stuff shows up- but going to Texas I knew that I could find some. When we added a stop in Waco to our itinerary (to see the Magnolia Silos and make a quick stop at Harp Design) it seemed like the fates couldn't have aligned any better. We found a local liquor store and I got ahold of my bottle of Balcones Baby Blue as well as a bottle of Mezcal that turned out to be tastier than expected- but that's another blog post. (Actual visits to distilleries, I think are going to have to wait for the kiddos to be a wee bit older.)

Founded in 2008, Balcones started in downtown Waco in an old welding shop under a bridge and grew from there, starting their own distilling in 2009. I seem to be on a good streak with whiskies that put a premium on locally grown, quality ingredients- which might be just the industry overall raising their standards or it could be just a case-by-case basis of finding good whiskies- either way means more delicious whiskey for me! Balcones gets their blue corn from New Mexico and malts their barley right in Texas and the quality is obvious in their delicious whiskey.

(I'm actually moving through this bottle at a fairly brisk clip-- I need to shift to scotch for awhile, so I can really savor this one-- because, as you'll see from the tasting notes below-- it was a great find in Texas and a great souvenir to bring back.)

Color: Dark honey, almost a rich amber shade.

Nose: It's light and hard to unpack at first. Something sweet that initially thought was brown sugar and bananas, but I was wrong. Honey is the dominant note, but there's a nutty undertone that's hard to ignore. I hate to give in to the power of suggestion, but if I'm going to guess, I'd say that was the blue corn. So you end up with a sort of rich, honey flavored tortilla chip- which isn't nearly as bad as it sounds.

Body: Viscosity is well balanced. Not too weak and water, but not too heavy and thick either. Very smooth. The spice dances across your tongue in a perfectly delicate way.

Finish: It's so smooth. It's ridiculously smooth... It's like butter or silk or something equally nice. Subtle and smooth again, the warming is slight and pleasant. It's not harsh going down at all.

Overall: Look, I like whiskey- so I'm really considering getting rid of starred reviews at this point, because I rarely meet whiskies I don't like. This one is worth the trip to Texas just to buy more of it. It's smooth, delicious and everything you could hope for in a really good sip of whiskey. My Grade: **** out of ****


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