Balcones 5th Anniversary Brimstone Resurrection 60.5% ABV
This sample of Balcones was included in the World Whiskies Awards Winners 2014 tasting set from Drinks by the Dram. Hailing from the Lone Star state this Straight Corn whisky picked up “Best American Single Malt” at the awards. The whiskies’ inception appears to have been an accident. After discovering a batch of corn had been burnt to the bottom of the still, Balcones founder Chip Tate decided to persevere with the carbonised liquor. And thank the Malt Gods he did! To add even more to the smokey character the spirit is laid down in heavily charred barrels.
The thing that struck me about this whisky when it was first in the glass was its colour, a fantastic deep red copper hue. On the nose it’s quite sweet with red berries and fruity notes. Loads of rum character. Woody and rich and a kind of green young vibrancy. Tasting it first without water I got a big smoke hit with an edge of phenolic notes. It then moves onto tinned fruit syrup accompanied by the charred wood influence of the casks. Thick and mouth coating. Burnt matches and charcoal. After adding a drop of water the nose becomes less pungent and some spiciness comes out. Caramel and treacle. A subtle sherbet fruity-ness is also present. The presence of water makes this a more silky whisky and allows the flavours to be tasted above the high ABV. More wood comes through and some tannins. Spicy bitter cocoa and fruity.
This whisky possesses a remarkable finish. An odyssey of smoke that goes on and on. It moves on from the fresh wood of the cask to charcoal briquettes and BBQs. A quality spirit with layers of smoke that constantly changes and satisfies. Being a fan of peated malts this whisky offers a new and different smokey experience. I was unable to track down a bottle of the Brimstone Resurrection, instead I put in an order of Balcones Brimstone so be on the look out for my thoughts on that.