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Drink Review: Balcones Brimstone

A smokey whisky with a difference. Firstly it’s made in Texas by Balcones and secondly the smoke comes from a secret process involving Texas Scrub Oak. This is not smoky whisky like you’ve had before – a mix of campfires, fruit and youthful corn.

Balcones Brimstone Review:

Appearance:
Golden bronze with heaps of thick copper legs.

Golden bronze with heaps of thick copper legs. Aroma: Wow. Heavy. Smoky on the nose but not overpowering. It’s balanced by sweet freshness with a sweeping natural sweetness. There’s some heat in there after time but it’s understated and pleasant

Heavy smoky on the nose but not overpowering. It’s balanced by sweet freshness with a sweeping natural sweetness. There’s some heat in there after time but it’s understated and pleasant Taste: A really nice sweetness, almost honey, with a lovely natural spice. This is balanced by the oak and smoke which creates a lingering warmth and tingle. Salty and sweet after time with a really nice kick at the end. There is almost a back taste of saltpeters when you swallow. Some heat.

A really nice sweetness, almost honey, with a lovely natural spice. This is balanced by the oak and smoke which creates a lingering warmth and tingle. Salty and sweet after time with a really nice kick at the end. There is almost a back taste of saltpeters when you swallow. Some heat. Verdict: I’ve drunk a lot of whisky and this is brilliant. It’s not a cough syrupy peaty Islay. It’s unique, clean and refreshing with a really nice kick at the end. It’s almost like a Islay whisky and a smokey peated whisky had a baby.

Balcones Brimstone Review 1:

What did we think?

This is a really well balanced, natural whisky. You can taste the smoke and oak but the whisky flavour and the natural sweetness take the lead and the smoke works in the background. Not hot at all. The finish is really great, long and lingering.

I don’t think 6 years old (or 20 months if you believe the top of the bottle) is long enough to create a 6 year old whisky and this is definitely not 3 years old (the official age). That could be a problem but it doesn’t matter – the flavours work with each other in a way that other 3 year old whiskies can’t.

The only problems really is that it’s hard to work out how to serve it. It’s a unique flavour and I don’t feel we’ve had enough different people trying it to come up with the best method (single or two cubes etc.). It’s a young whisky though and I think has a lot of potential for development over the years (and will become more complex).

One of the best whiskies I’ve had that doesn’t have any age statement. For the same money as possibly the best whisky under £40 you can get a really good bottle of whisky.

The Balcones Brimstone is a natural whisky with a unique flavour. It’s not an ‘everyday drinkers’ whisky but a special one to savour. It’s beautifully balanced with a long warm finish. Outstanding.

Written by Mark Adams

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