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Cigar Spirits: Balcones 1 Texas Single Malt Whisky

4 Dec 2012

Does “single malt” and “Texas” sound strange to you? It certainly does to me. But with my Texas roots (nearly half of my family lives in the state) I figured it would be worth a shot—even with a price tag just under $70.

Plus, it’s not like Balcones Distillery hasn’t won any awards. In addition to being named “American Craft Distillery of the Year” by Whisky Magazine, their various spirits have racked up accolades including a handful of prizes for this single malt from the Lone Star State.

On their website, Balcones describes their “1” Texas Single Malt, which was first released in 2011, like this: “A unique style of malt whisky, Texas made, Texas proud. This product is born of hundreds of years of distilling tradition transformed by a deep sense of place. Mellow notes of sautéed pears and ripe fruit mixed with a lingering toasty malt character.”

With all that in mind, I got down to business to try this 106-proof creation from the Waco, Texas-based operation. “1” Texas Single Malt is a medium copper color. The nose is surprisingly traditional (scotch-like), with burnt sugar, dried fruit, and a little oak barrel and vanilla.

On the palate, it has a rum-like sweetness (not that unlike the Edradour 10 I recently wrote about), along with roasted pecans, grain, and maltiness. The finish is short and leaves the mouth a bit dry, while anticipating the next sip.

Complex, yet surprisingly classic, the “1” Texas Single Malt is best paired with a mild or medium-bodied cigar. I’d particularly recommend a Connecticut-wrapped Davidoff Grand Cru or E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut.

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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