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bllygthrd
07-29-2012, 15:47
This whiskey may have been discussed elsewhere, but I was unable to find it with the search function ...

Has anyone tried Balcones Brimstone - Texas Scrub Oak Blue Corn Whiskey? Was given a snifter of it, blind and straight up, at the best bourbon bar in CRW. Took a sniff ... it smelled like pulled pork BBQ ... tasted like liquid BBQ also ...

A very interesting whiskey, but I put it in the novelty category ... and at $65/750mL ... a bit too pricey for a conversation piece. I can't see anyone enjoying this whiskey on a daily bases ... 13967

MacinJosh
07-29-2012, 16:31
Color: Light amber.

Nose: Whiffs of smoke and BBQ, bacon and grease. There's char in here as well. Interesting!

Taste: Smoke quickly floods the palate, like the fire alarm just went off. Subsides with time as bacon bits and corn begin to emerge. Smoke lingers throughout. Soft oakiness on exit.

Finish: Incredibly long and complex. There's an oily, saltiness that develops like after eating roasted peanuts. Hangs around forever.

Rating: Bold and flavorful, easily my favorite Balcones so far. This one has lots to offer and plenty to like. Would pair well with a nice steak. I'm scoring this one an 89.

bllygthrd
07-29-2012, 16:57
Color: Light amber.

Nose: Whiffs of smoke and BBQ, bacon and grease. There's char in here as well. Interesting!

Taste: Smoke quickly floods the palate, like the fire alarm just went off. Subsides with time as bacon bits and corn begin to emerge. Smoke lingers throughout. Soft oakiness on exit.

Finish: Incredibly long and complex. There's an oily, saltiness that develops like after eating roasted peanuts. Hangs around forever.

Rating: Bold and flavorful, easily my favorite Balcones so far. This one has lots to offer and plenty to like. Would pair well with a nice steak. I'm scoring this one an 89.

Josh:
For the most part, I agree with your verbiage ... although my sample was more pinkish rather than amber and I didn't get the saltiness or bacon overtones ... but, my taste buds are on the downside of the slope.

HP12
07-29-2012, 17:34
Color: Light amber.

Nose: Whiffs of smoke and BBQ, bacon and grease. There's char in here as well. Interesting!

Taste: Smoke quickly floods the palate, like the fire alarm just went off. Subsides with time as bacon bits and corn begin to emerge. Smoke lingers throughout. Soft oakiness on exit.

Finish: Incredibly long and complex. There's an oily, saltiness that develops like after eating roasted peanuts. Hangs around forever.

Rating: Bold and flavorful, easily my favorite Balcones so far. This one has lots to offer and plenty to like. Would pair well with a nice steak. I'm scoring this one an 89.

Nice review as usual Josh and I agree, it's my fav Balcones as well. I really enjoy this expression from what's likely to be the best distillery in the Lone Star State! Chip has found a winner with Brimstone! I need mas!

Young Blacksmith
07-29-2012, 18:53
I had the same impressions initially as you did bllygthrd. But, as you keep drinking it, it seems to shift and instead of wanting less of it, I wanted more. And more.... :)

sailor22
07-30-2012, 06:35
In a classic case of YMMV my impression didn't exactly line up with Josh's and Young Blacksmith's.
The more I sipped the less I enjoyed it, and I didn't care for it at all on the first sip. Eventually I went looking for a tung scraper in an attempt to remove the greasy sooty taste from my mouth.
I didn't get smoke as much as wet greasy soot. It reminded me of the nasty flavors Mesquite wood imparts to BBQ.
Not smokey but more like drinking from a bottle of concentrated Mesquite flavoring mixed with a very young white dog.

OTwhisky
07-30-2012, 12:28
In a classic case of YMMV my impression didn't exactly line up with Josh's and Young Blacksmith's.
The more I sipped the less I enjoyed it, and I didn't care for it at all on the first sip. Eventually I went looking for a tung scraper in an attempt to remove the greasy sooty taste from my mouth.
I didn't get smoke as much as wet greasy soot. It reminded me of the nasty flavors Mesquite wood imparts to BBQ.
Not smokey but more like drinking from a bottle of concentrated Mesquite flavoring mixed with a very young white dog.

Thanks for taking the time to try our Brimstone. We have had some distributor problems that have resulted in less than perfect shelf quality, I'm sorry to say. In any case, I would encourage you to try it again, if you get a chance. I think you will find the more recent bottlings more to your liking and closer to what MacinJosh was describing. We're working on the problem now and should have new bottles on the shelf soon.

wadewood
07-31-2012, 05:52
Thanks for taking the time to try our Brimstone. We have had some distributor problems that have resulted in less than perfect shelf quality

1st post from someone who represents Balcones? You might want to introduce yourself to provide some credentials.

ChainWhip
07-31-2012, 13:29
Brimstone to me is a "in the right mood" kind of dram for me. I'm normally an Islay Scotch kind of a drinker - I just keep getting dried goji berries in the Brimstone that brings me back to childhood days of being sick & grandma making me drink concoctions of Chinese medicine.

StraightNoChaser
08-01-2012, 13:30
1st post from someone who represents Balcones? You might want to introduce yourself to provide some credentials.

Wade, I talked to Chip after I saw that post and he said that it was someone in his office under his direction. So, this came straight out of the distillery mostly from Chip's words. I'm sure they'll come back and clear it up

smokinjoe
08-01-2012, 13:35
1st post from someone who represents Balcones? You might want to introduce yourself to provide some credentials.

Hey Wade, you haven't earned the Title, "Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker" for nothing!! :D

MacinJosh
08-01-2012, 16:36
Nice review as usual Josh and I agree, it's my fav Balcones as well.

Thank you my friend.

wadewood
08-02-2012, 05:24
1st post from someone who represents Balcones? You might want to introduce yourself to provide some credentials.
If you are going to post something here and imply you represent a certain company, I think the least you can is provide some details. Maybe I'll create a new sb username and start posting in Van Winkle threads as I am Julian Van Winkle IV:lol:

Also, from my personal experience, any QC issues from a major KY distillery would result in that bottle being promptly refunded or replaced. This guy posts as Balcones and comes across as sorry you wasted that $65 on product that had QC issue; please buy again.

StraightNoChaser
08-02-2012, 08:32
If you are going to post something here and imply you represent a certain company, I think the least you can is provide some details. Maybe I'll create a new sb username and start posting in Van Winkle threads as I am Julian Van Winkle IV:lol:

Also, from my personal experience, any QC issues from a major KY distillery would result in that bottle being promptly refunded or replaced. This guy posts as Balcones and comes across as sorry you wasted that $65 on product that had QC issue; please buy again.

Well if you're going to call dibs on JVW for your imposter account then I call Harlan Wheatley! :bowdown:

Bourbon Boiler
08-02-2012, 16:49
I failed to introduce myself as well. I am Mr. Jim Beam. Maybe you've heard of me.

All sarcasm aside, I would hope that there's more explanation of a quality problem that was allowed to get through retail and onto the customer.

bad_scientist
08-02-2012, 19:39
I passed up a True Blue bottled in September, 2011 today, sold at a place that just opened like 2 weeks ago. I'm guessing this comes from a "bad" distributor, since the bottling time was so much earlier than the debut of the store? Please, oh please, Mr./Ms. mysterious unofficial Balcones person, tell me if it's okay. I'm quite excited about it and I wanted to get it, but the ominous post put me off and I bought a Very Old Scout instead.

Ejmharris
08-02-2012, 20:02
I passed up a True Blue bottled in September, 2011 today, sold at a place that just opened like 2 weeks ago. I'm guessing this comes from a "bad" distributor, since the bottling time was so much earlier than the debut of the store? Please, oh please, Mr./Ms. mysterious unofficial Balcones person, tell me if it's okay. I'm quite excited about it and I wanted to get it, but the ominous post put me off and I bought a Very Old Scout instead.

I am in the same boat on this one. I have been interested in trying it as love the MB Roland black dog. I really am. It interested in diving into one now that may have been from a bad distributor.

sailor22
08-03-2012, 05:50
The juice I was describing was a sample sent by a friend so I never actually purchased a bottle. I don't know where this particular sample came from so I can't help in identifying any mysterious bad batch..

I'm curious how a distributor could be the cause of a quality control issue. Don't they get bottles already sealed and packaged by the manufacturer?

OTwhisky
08-03-2012, 08:11
The juice I was describing was a sample sent by a friend so I never actually purchased a bottle. I don't know where this particular sample came from so I can't help in identifying any mysterious bad batch..

I'm curious how a distributor could be the cause of a quality control issue. Don't they get bottles already sealed and packaged by the manufacturer?

Jesus, guys. The is CHIP TATE, HEAD DISTILLER AT BALCONES. Please don't beat up on new employees that ALMOST understood what I asked them to post on the internet. This issue is that some distributors don't front their cases well and so a bottle from 2010 will end up on the shelf, rather than more recent bottlings. Why does that matter? Let me clarify:

1) There are no BAD bottles of Balcones out there.
2) What my employee was TRYING to say is that I blind taste each new blend against previous batches to make sure it is better than the last. Again, THERE ARE NO BAD BOTTLES OF BALCONES, but each batch is better than the last.
3) Given these former points, later batches of Brimstone and all of our products may be even more pleasing to your palate than earlier one. As one of the few "craft" distilleries that actually bottles whisky the actually make (and please feel free to contact me if you'd like to know who's who), we hope that our quality improves daily. JUST TO AVOID ANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS, I do not mean to suggest that our quality has ever been anything but excellent.

And just for the record, Jim Murray just rated the "bad" brimstone in question very highly (95+) and awarded it a Liquid Gold award in his 2013 Whisky Bible. But since that is not out yet, you'll just have to take my word for that. I stand by every bottle we've ever put out and I hope you enjoy them all. If you don't, I won't apologize for that, but I would encourage to continue to try our products. Most of the worlds' most prestegious tasters including Paul Pacult, Andy Dias Blue and, as previously mentioned, Jim Murray consider our products worldclass. Hopefully, that means enough to some to try our products with an open mind. I will make a point to get people to sign their posts in the future, but do let it go. If you don't want to, email me directly at chiptate@balconesdistilling.com and we can talk it out mono y mono.

THIS IS CHIP TATE, PRESIDENT AND HEAD DISTILLER FOR BALCONES

StraightNoChaser
08-03-2012, 09:11
SB can be a tad nitpicky at times, Chip. But welcome to the board!

bad_scientist
08-03-2012, 09:14
I think everyone who's posted on the thread has signaled strong interest in Balcones, or at least enough interest to try your stuff. The issue was dropping $60 on something that was compromised after it left your distillery.

Anyway, thanks for the clarification. I still want that True Blue bottle and now will have to convince my wife to let me, since I blew my budget last night on my misunderstanding.




Jesus, guys. The is CHIP TATE, HEAD DISTILLER AT BALCONES. Please don't beat up on new employees that ALMOST understood what I asked them to post on the internet. This issue is that some distributors don't front their cases well and so a bottle from 2010 will end up on the shelf, rather than more recent bottlings. Why does that matter? Let me clarify:

1) There are no BAD bottles of Balcones out there.
2) What my employee was TRYING to say is that I blind taste each new blend against previous batches to make sure it is better than the last. Again, THERE ARE NO BAD BOTTLES OF BALCONES, but each batch is better than the last.
3) Given these former points, later batches of Brimstone and all of our products may be even more pleasing to your palate than earlier one. As one of the few "craft" distilleries that actually bottles whisky the actually make (and please feel free to contact me if you'd like to know who's who), we hope that our quality improves daily. JUST TO AVOID ANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS, I do not mean to suggest that our quality has ever been anything but excellent.

And just for the record, Jim Murray just rated the "bad" brimstone in question very highly (95+) and awarded it a Liquid Gold award in his 2013 Whisky Bible. But since that is not out yet, you'll just have to take my word for that. I stand by every bottle we've ever put out and I hope you enjoy them all. If you don't, I won't apologize for that, but I would encourage to continue to try our products. Most of the worlds' most prestegious tasters including Paul Pacult, Andy Dias Blue and, as previously mentioned, Jim Murray consider our products worldclass. Hopefully, that means enough to some to try our products with an open mind. I will make a point to get people to sign their posts in the future, but do let it go. If you don't want to, email me directly at chiptate@balconesdistilling.com and we can talk it out mono y mono.

THIS IS CHIP TATE, PRESIDENT AND HEAD DISTILLER FOR BALCONES

sailor22
08-03-2012, 10:07
Thanks for your participation and the clarification Chip. Always good to hear from someone passionate about the whiskey they are making. I look forward to trying some of your other expressions.

AaronWF
08-03-2012, 11:16
I'm a big fan of this stuff. It tastes like no whiskey I have ever had, packs a punch at 106pf, and demonstrates a wholly creative process absolutely unique to the American whiskey profile. It doesn't have to be something I would drink everyday for me to get excited about it. I tend to enjoy extreme profiles like malt peat monsters even if I don't drink them very often, and I think this stuff is somewhat of a novelty, but it's well-made and gimmick-free. And it serves up plenty of drama, which is another whiskey characteristic that I gravitate towards.

A 100% corn whiskey that tastes deeply of BBQ... seriously WTF?!

bad_scientist
08-03-2012, 11:23
I'm a big fan of this stuff. It tastes like no whiskey I have ever had, packs a punch at 106pf, and demonstrates a wholly creative process absolutely unique to the American whiskey profile. It doesn't have to be something I would drink everyday for me to get excited about it. I tend to enjoy extreme profiles like malt peat monsters even if I don't drink them very often, and I think this stuff is somewhat of a novelty, but it's well-made and gimmick-free. And it serves up plenty of drama, which is another whiskey characteristic that I gravitate towards.

A 100% corn whiskey that tastes deeply of BBQ... seriously WTF?!

So if I drink it for dinner, I'm not an alcoholic?

AaronWF
08-03-2012, 13:47
So if I drink it for dinner, I'm not an alcoholic?

Well I dunno about that... A night on the sauce won't make you an alcoholic, but the whiskey sure doesn't taste like chicken!

bad_scientist
08-03-2012, 15:53
Well I dunno about that... A night on the sauce won't make you an alcoholic, but the whiskey sure doesn't taste like chicken!

Man, I'm getting crazy hungry just reading this thread! Anyone else up for BBQ?

OTwhisky
08-03-2012, 16:29
SB can be a tad nitpicky at times, Chip. But welcome to the board!

Chip from Balcones here again. Sorry, I was a little testy earlier today. I know you all are all well intended and I appreciate your interest. Hopefully, it's better to get a reply from a grumpy head distiller than a fake brand rep:grin: Have a good one and look forward to your future comments.

Chip

Bourbon Boiler
08-03-2012, 16:38
Thanks for jumping in with the clarication, Chip. I was one put off by the initial statement, but it's not like I use the right words 100% of the time either. I think in general, the marketplace wants to support the "true" microdistiller, and I think you'll get a fair shake.

MyOldKyDram
08-03-2012, 16:43
I for one would love to try some. Sounds wholly unique.

MacinJosh
08-03-2012, 17:01
I'm a big fan of this stuff. It tastes like no whiskey I have ever had, packs a punch at 106pf, and demonstrates a wholly creative process absolutely unique to the American whiskey profile. It doesn't have to be something I would drink everyday for me to get excited about it. I tend to enjoy extreme profiles like malt peat monsters even if I don't drink them very often, and I think this stuff is somewhat of a novelty, but it's well-made and gimmick-free. And it serves up plenty of drama, which is another whiskey characteristic that I gravitate towards.

A 100% corn whiskey that tastes deeply of BBQ... seriously WTF?!

I really dig it as well. It's like someone took my favorite beef jerky and infused it with my whiskey. Mmmmmm. :)

OTwhisky
08-03-2012, 17:39
Thanks for jumping in with the clarication, Chip. I was one put off by the initial statement, but it's not like I use the right words 100% of the time either. I think in general, the marketplace wants to support the "true" microdistiller, and I think you'll get a fair shake.

I appreciate that and your candor. Out baby's been sick and not a lot of sleep. Thanks for understanding--Chip

jtexaslonestar
08-03-2012, 21:13
I appreciate that and your candor. Out baby's been sick and not a lot of sleep. Thanks for understanding--Chip

FWIW, I love the True Blue Cask Strength. I chose it over the Brimstone just for my love of cask strength bottlings. But putting out world-class whiskies, and having a sick child at the moment, gold medal performance in my book. And no, being a Native Texan has no influence on my palate.:grin: Hope the little one gets well soon.

SmoothAmbler
08-04-2012, 04:32
Chip from Balcones here again. Sorry, I was a little testy earlier today. I know you all are all well intended and I appreciate your interest. Hopefully, it's better to get a reply from a grumpy head distiller than a fake brand rep:grin: Have a good one and look forward to your future comments.

Chip

You? Testy? Say it ain't so. You are always so calm and easy going.




By the way, I'm allowed to say that to Chip.

timd
08-06-2012, 15:21
I for one, very much enjoy Chip's personality - he's outspoken and passionate. While it may seem gruff at times, you won't find too many other folks with his position in the industry who are still passionate about trying new whisk(e)y and other drinks and finding ways to make his stuff even better.

Some of the finest new make I've had comes from Chip's still - the fact I can drink his mash & new make and actually enjoy it says something!

Glad to have you on the forum, Chip - and thanks for clarifying! (FWIW: Having had multiple off the shelf bottlings of Brimstone from the very beginning, I can honestly say that it's done nothing but improve from an already really great whisky!).

Restaurant man
08-06-2012, 19:31
Got a bottle on the way. Can't wait. FWIW I suspect that all passionate distillers have a "hot streak" and this board has a way of bringing it out from time to time :grin:

MacinJosh
08-08-2012, 19:49
The Whiskey Leprechaun delivered a Balcones Brimstone Barrel 1200 "Burned Barrel" sample the other day. It's a non-production sample and clocked in at 48%. I tasted this blind and wasn't told what it was until after the fact. My thoughts....

Color: Light amber.

Nose: An immediate blast of bacon bits. Smoked salmon and a whiff of burnt rubber. More bacon bits, like the artificial ones you put on salads. Yum!

Taste: Hickory smoked beef jerky with a hint of BBQ sauce. Crisp bacon followed by notes of A1 steak sauce. Oily and fat, bacon grease. Über mouth coating. Transitions quickly from start to finish but damn it's bold!

Finish: Smoked wood chips. Grilled steak. A bit of char on the back end. Burnt oak.

Rating: This is a meat-lovers whiskey! Bacon, steak, grease, and fat....I can feel my arteries clogging already! ;) What a unique pour. I'm scoring this one a 92.

OTwhisky
08-10-2012, 08:13
You? Testy? Say it ain't so. You are always so calm and easy going.




By the way, I'm allowed to say that to Chip.

It takes one a grumpy ole distillery to know another--one of your many positive attributes. : ) It's true

OTwhisky
08-10-2012, 08:16
Got a bottle on the way. Can't wait. FWIW I suspect that all passionate distillers have a "hot streak" and this board has a way of bringing it out from time to time

very true, we do. temperamental artists, I guess :grin:

bad_scientist
09-22-2012, 15:35
I just bought a bottle of True Blue, bottled 9/12/11. It tastes a lot like smoky tequila. I don't give a rat's ass how many awards it's won, it's a strong tequila flavor to me, and a huge waste of money in my house. Obviously, such a strong opinion may be an outlier. Thus, if you're in DC, just PM me and I'll pour you some so you can make your own decision. I'm disgusted by the price and how boring it is.

silverfish
09-22-2012, 15:56
As part of his Craft Whiskey Week, sku samples Brimstone and offers his thoughts (http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2012/09/craft-whiskey-week-balcones-brimstone.html).

I have an opened bottle and am trying hard to make it last until I and get my hands
on a couple more. The smoky flavors didn't do much for me this summer but I think
the upcoming colder months will have me reaching for the Brimstone with greater
frequency.

timd
09-22-2012, 15:58
I'm disgusted by the price and how boring it is.

Almost all craft offerings are in this price range - and most of them aren't very good.

Although your opinion on the whiskey is certainly valid (i.e. it doesn't taste good to you), I'd be hard pressed to agree on any level that its "boring." I've had quite a bit of Balcones over the years, and while I'm an admitted super fan of Chip's stuff (especially Rumble Cask Reserve & Brimstone), and nothing I've had qualifies as boring - or poor quality. Tastes may vary, but the measure of quality isn't as subjective - and he makes good stuff!

darylld911
09-22-2012, 16:29
I've only tasted the Brimstone, and agree that you couldn't call it "boring" - although it absolutely was not my cup of tea (or bourbon). The closest thing it reminded me of was Charred Oak in that "burnt wood" was the predominant character I walked away with. Might be exactly what some folks are looking for (hey - I love Laphroaig which some Scotch enthusiasts think is bathwater), just not me.

Josh
09-22-2012, 17:39
I had some at the gazebo, and I didn't think it was boring but I didn't really care for it either. I love their malt and Tru & Baby Blues, but the brimstone just wasn't gettin' it done for me. I would rank Corsair Triple Smoke and HW Campfire* over Brimstone.

*Yes I know Campfire is a vatting so it's not the same thing.

UPDATE: Just read the rest of the thread. Wow, I missed out on another good one. Anyway, I will keep an open mind and try some from a different bottle at the next opportunity.

Bourbon Boiler
09-22-2012, 18:15
Jesus, guys. The is CHIP TATE, HEAD DISTILLER AT BALCONES. Please don't beat up on new employees that ALMOST understood what I asked them to post on the internet. This issue is that some distributors don't front their cases well and so a bottle from 2010 will end up on the shelf, rather than more recent bottlings. Why does that matter? Let me clarify:

1) There are no BAD bottles of Balcones out there.
2) What my employee was TRYING to say is that I blind taste each new blend against previous batches to make sure it is better than the last. Again, THERE ARE NO BAD BOTTLES OF BALCONES, but each batch is better than the last.
3) Given these former points, later batches of Brimstone and all of our products may be even more pleasing to your palate than earlier one. As one of the few "craft" distilleries that actually bottles whisky the actually make (and please feel free to contact me if you'd like to know who's who), we hope that our quality improves daily. JUST TO AVOID ANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS, I do not mean to suggest that our quality has ever been anything but excellent.

And just for the record, Jim Murray just rated the "bad" brimstone in question very highly (95+) and awarded it a Liquid Gold award in his 2013 Whisky Bible. But since that is not out yet, you'll just have to take my word for that. I stand by every bottle we've ever put out and I hope you enjoy them all. If you don't, I won't apologize for that, but I would encourage to continue to try our products. Most of the worlds' most prestegious tasters including Paul Pacult, Andy Dias Blue and, as previously mentioned, Jim Murray consider our products worldclass. Hopefully, that means enough to some to try our products with an open mind. I will make a point to get people to sign their posts in the future, but do let it go. If you don't want to, email me directly at chiptate@balconesdistilling.com and we can talk it out mono y mono.

THIS IS CHIP TATE, PRESIDENT AND HEAD DISTILLER FOR BALCONES

Good Evening Chip. I did want to revisit this statement, but I wanted to wait because I didn't want my question to come off as abraisive or attacking, as I assure you my intent is only to understand. Above in point number two, I added italics and bold type to a statement you made. While I can appreciate that continous improvement is key to the manufacture of any product, how do you balance that with consistancy - particularly on a product that is very subjective and individually biased in grading quality.

If I were in your position, I would be concerned that someone would love my 2010 version, but after a few "improvements", might not like the 2013 edition nearly as much. Or they might like it equally as well, but notice that it is different and might not "chance it" on future releases. I think I would be concerned that the next batch is the same as the first, not "better" than the first.

I hope you find time to answer, and again I'm not trying to be critical, only to better understand your operations and the industry in general.

MacinJosh
09-22-2012, 19:33
I really dig the Brimstone and Greg (man I hope I remembered that right) was gracious enough to send me home with the bottle from the Gazebo. :)

Thanks again!!

nivto
09-22-2012, 23:28
Brimstone is definitely the one in the lineup that I'd recommend tasting. Buying a bottle blind could be risky but if you like it you probably won't find anything else like it anywhere else.

p_elliott
09-22-2012, 23:57
I really dig the Brimstone and Greg (man I hope I remembered that right) was gracious enough to send me home with the bottle from the Gazebo. :)

Thanks again!!

Greg

I'm glad you found a home for that because as much as I hate to say it, it was awful. Texas is batting 0 for 2.

thezenone
10-03-2012, 13:54
I recently had a glass of the Brimstone at a restaurant and really enjoyed it. Have a bottle of Baby Blue and enjoy it as well. I have been impressed with these two offerings and look forward to hopefully some wider distribution in CA.

mopgcw
11-14-2012, 15:44
haven't had the brimstone, but love the baby blue. on my second bottle of blue. will need to track down the brimstone.

George

CaptainQ
11-20-2012, 21:05
My review having first tried it a few days ago.

Balcones Brimstone. Wow, I'm glad I waited until the end of the evening to sample this foul concoction. This beverage will contaminate your pallet in 5 seconds flat. It tasted like someone pressure washed an old smokehouse and concentrated the waste water and then added it to a green corn spirit. Very nasty. I took two small sips and threw the rest out.
:puke:

Balcones Winston
02-27-2013, 10:18
Good Evening Chip. I did want to revisit this statement, but I wanted to wait because I didn't want my question to come off as abraisive or attacking, as I assure you my intent is only to understand. Above in point number two, I added italics and bold type to a statement you made. While I can appreciate that continous improvement is key to the manufacture of any product, how do you balance that with consistancy - particularly on a product that is very subjective and individually biased in grading quality.

If I were in your position, I would be concerned that someone would love my 2010 version, but after a few "improvements", might not like the 2013 edition nearly as much. Or they might like it equally as well, but notice that it is different and might not "chance it" on future releases. I think I would be concerned that the next batch is the same as the first, not "better" than the first.

I hope you find time to answer, and again I'm not trying to be critical, only to better understand your operations and the industry in general.

We still aim to achieve a house profile and while there may be slight variation between batches, I don't believe the change could be so dramatic that it would turn someone away.

Variation is the nature of small batch and single barrel whiskey. I believe Brown-Forman actively promotes the idea that there will be variation between batches/barrels of WR and JDSB and I don't hear about them losing customers over it :)

To that effect, I recently got to do a side by side of our first ever batch of Single Malt (11-1) against the newest (13-2). While I will freely admit there is a difference, I didn't find it to be startling or otherwise disconcerting. The newest batch was an improvement for sure, one I have no doubt a consumer would appreciate. And the first batch was not a bad whisky by any means, I enjoyed both.

Balcones Winston
02-27-2013, 10:24
Brimstone is probably the most divisive product we offer. People either love it or hate it. But truthfully, we're artists, and we desire a strong reaction to our work whether it be negative or positive. Our worst nightmare would be for someone to shrug and say "meh"

Thankfully, the general reaction has been more positive than negative.

If anyone hasn't tried it already, I highly recommend mixing with Brimstone. My favorite bar in Dallas, Whiskey Cake, makes something called a "Southern Sass" that involves bell pepper juice, lime juice, cilantro, Tabasco and smoky mescal. I have them substitute Brimstone instead and it's easily one of my favorite cocktails of all time. It also makes a mean Bloody Mary.

ChainWhip
02-27-2013, 19:28
To that effect, I recently got to do a side by side of our first ever batch of Single Malt (11-1) against the newest (13-2). While I will freely admit there is a difference, I didn't find it to be startling or otherwise disconcerting. The newest batch was an improvement for sure, one I have no doubt a consumer would appreciate. And the first batch was not a bad whisky by any means, I enjoyed both.

How can I tell which batch is what on the Single Malt? It seems that the crew over at Master of Malt picked your SM as their favorite in a head-to-head against some big names:

http://www.masterofmalt.com/Blog/post/The-Best-in-Glass-Awards-2012.aspx

It looks like they had one that was 53% ABV.

Balcones Winston
02-27-2013, 22:27
The batch numbers are hand written on the back of the single malt bottles. They are written year-batch so 11-1 was the first batch of 2011. 13-2 is the latest batch, the second batch of 2013.

After 12-8, 53% became the standard bottling proof for the single malt.

Bourbon Boiler
02-28-2013, 17:46
We still aim to achieve a house profile and while there may be slight variation between batches, I don't believe the change could be so dramatic that it would turn someone away.

Variation is the nature of small batch and single barrel whiskey. I believe Brown-Forman actively promotes the idea that there will be variation between batches/barrels of WR and JDSB and I don't hear about them losing customers over it :)

To that effect, I recently got to do a side by side of our first ever batch of Single Malt (11-1) against the newest (13-2). While I will freely admit there is a difference, I didn't find it to be startling or otherwise disconcerting. The newest batch was an improvement for sure, one I have no doubt a consumer would appreciate. And the first batch was not a bad whisky by any means, I enjoyed both.

Thanks for your response. I thought about asking this again in your introduction thread, but I see you've already found it.

omgmarclol
03-17-2013, 15:25
bringing back a semi-dead topic; but i decided to take a shot and pick up a bottle, having liked balcones single malt offering. i can see why this is very polarizing. for me the nose is of smoky bbq sauce and bacon and the palate goes from smoke first and foremost to jerky/bacon bits and savory corn bread. the finish coats the mouth and stays there...for a long time.

i'm in the camp that enjoys brimstone. while i can't say that it will be an every day pour for me, i think i'll be keeping it around.

squire
03-18-2013, 16:10
It doesn't sound like my cup of tea but the more choices the better I say.

BigBoldBully
03-23-2013, 21:52
All these mentions of bacon and smoke have me hankering to try some, and my mezcal substitution attempts are not quite doing it. Anyone know where it's available in eastern WI? Last time I made a pilgrimage to the milwaukee area, late last year, I found true and baby blue, but no brimstone.

Balcones Winston
04-29-2013, 11:50
All these mentions of bacon and smoke have me hankering to try some, and my mezcal substitution attempts are not quite doing it. Anyone know where it's available in eastern WI? Last time I made a pilgrimage to the milwaukee area, late last year, I found true and baby blue, but no brimstone.


I'll see what I can find out for you

r60slash5
08-20-2013, 16:57
I have a open bottle of Balcones Brimstone. When I taste it, Texas barbeque. I like it.

Ted

Balcones Winston
08-22-2013, 09:13
Glad you enjoy it! Cheers!

zillah
08-22-2013, 11:43
The Brimstone has been of interest of mine for a quite a while as I drink scotch too (yes blasphemy) and while I love the smokey flavors of peat (I usually drink wine finishes) I find the earthy TCP to be revolting sometimes. Brimstone seems like the best product: No peat, just straight up smokey BBQ and corn whiskey.

Winston, do you smoke your malt before distillation or is it smoked after?

Also, any idea when Balcones will break into PA? I would like to try out your products!

r60slash5
08-22-2013, 17:41
I have a bottle of Brimstone open. I like it. I like it much more then then Johnnie Walker Red, Black, Double Black, and Laphroaig 10 too. To me these scotches have a taste step to the smoke that seems contrived. The Brimstone tastes like Texas Barbecue. It's not trying to be something it's not. It taste like Texas Whiskey.

Ted

Balcones Winston
08-23-2013, 11:43
The Brimstone has been of interest of mine for a quite a while as I drink scotch too (yes blasphemy) and while I love the smokey flavors of peat (I usually drink wine finishes) I find the earthy TCP to be revolting sometimes. Brimstone seems like the best product: No peat, just straight up smokey BBQ and corn whiskey.

Winston, do you smoke your malt before distillation or is it smoked after?

Also, any idea when Balcones will break into PA? I would like to try out your products!
We smoke the actual whisky post-distillation. And it's a corn whiskey, no malt involved, just 100% blue corn

No ETA on breaking into PA. At this point we can barely supply our current distributors so there won't be any expansion into new markets until we up our production capacity (which we're working on!)

Balcones Winston
08-23-2013, 11:47
I have a bottle of Brimstone open. I like it. I like it much more then then Johnnie Walker Red, Black, Double Black, and Laphroaig 10 too. To me these scotches have a taste step to the smoke that seems contrived. The Brimstone tastes like Texas Barbecue. It's not trying to be something it's not. It taste like Texas Whiskey.

Ted
I'm not a fan of peaty stuff myself honestly. I still enjoy the occasional Highland Park because the peat is very subtle, but most of the heavily peated stuff puts me off.

It's fun to mix Balcones Single Malt with Brimstone... they complement each other well

r60slash5
08-23-2013, 12:29
I'm not a fan of peaty stuff myself honestly. I still enjoy the occasional Highland Park because the peat is very subtle, but most of the heavily peated stuff puts me off.

It's fun to mix Balcones Single Malt with Brimstone... they complement each other well

I like the older peated stuff better. Laphroaig 18 is ok because it has a smoother transition to the smoke. I'll have to dig in my Whiskey Pile I know I have 2 more bottles Balcones, but I think a Single malt, and Baby, or True Blue. Thanks I'll try that

Ted

zillah
08-23-2013, 13:19
We smoke the actual whisky post-distillation. And it's a corn whiskey, no malt involved, just 100% blue corn

No ETA on breaking into PA. At this point we can barely supply our current distributors so there won't be any expansion into new markets until we up our production capacity (which we're working on!)

I get so used to a certain nomenclature when talking about scotch that I forget to switch back. Thanks for answering! Can't wait till you guys can get the supply and demand in balance so you can expand. Maybe I will have to bootleg something from NY in the meantime. :grin:

Balcones Winston
08-23-2013, 13:31
I get so used to a certain nomenclature when talking about scotch that I forget to switch back. Thanks for answering! Can't wait till you guys can get the supply and demand in balance so you can expand. Maybe I will have to bootleg something from NY in the meantime. :grin:

It's definitely in stock around NY and NJ. Check out www.1000corks.com

oke&coke
08-23-2013, 13:53
DrinkupNY.com also had a selection last I checked.