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  1. #261
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Are we talking about ALL the awards we've won, or just at the NY WWSC?

  2. #262
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Wade pointed out that 5 of 7 awards were for product that is not available at retail. Can Balcones confirm that statistic? More specifically, how many awards were won by the product with no COLA label, and why was this even entered? If you have the same data available for all awards, it would be interesting to see.

    I have to be honest, Wade raised some very cogent points. It would seem that on the face of it, these awards amount to pay for play. More concerning is that it seems Balcones may by gaming these awards, and consumers, by entering products that are not available (and may never be).
    Last edited by LostBottle; 10-26-2013 at 12:15.

  3. #263
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Balcones 5th Anniversary Texas Straight Bourbon - has been to retail but was extremely limited

    Balcones Texas Rum Special Release - just bottled this week, and will be at retail soon

    Balcones True Blue 100 - one of the core whiskies in our portfolio

    Balcones Brimstone Resurrection - bottled this week, will be released out of the distillery

    Balcones Crooked Bourbon - still aging

    Balcones Texas 1 Single Malt - one of the core whiskies in our portfolio

    Balcones Texas Rum - same thing as the "Special Release" but entered into competition at a slightly lower proof, 106

  4. #264
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    So 29% of the products (Texas Rum & Crooked Bourbon) will not be available in entered form? Another one, (5th Anniversary) was a one-off from honey barrels that will not be replicated? Interesting.

    For me, that calls into question ~43% of the products entered - a high enough percentage to question the legitimacy of the award program itself and the intentions of those entering. Thanks for taking the time to post that.
    Last edited by LostBottle; 10-26-2013 at 12:30.

  5. #265
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balcones Winston View Post
    Everything we entered will eventually see a retail release, even if it is only out of the distillery.
    Ay, therein lies the skepticism. Future release doesn't mean the bottles available at retail contain the same whisky sampled by the judges (batch variation etc). Skeptics, like me, will assume cherry picked samples.

    To be fair, that criticism isn't unique to Balcones. I think all entrants are probably engaging in the same practice (samples to competitions not same as product for general sale.
    Last edited by portwood; 10-26-2013 at 12:32.

  6. #266
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Quote Originally Posted by LostBottle View Post
    So 29% of the products (Texas Rum & Crooked Bourbon) will not be available in entered form? Another one, (5th Anniversary) was a one-off from honey barrels that will not be replicated? Interesting. For me, that calls into question ~43% of the products entered - a high enough percentage to question the legitimacy of the award program itself. Thanks for taking the time to post that.
    The rum you mention is the exact same spirit as what we will release but at a lower proof. If you want it at 106 instead of 117, add a few drops of water.

    The bourbon wasn't a honey barrel. It was the only barrel.

    And no... the Crooked will be better when it is released

  7. #267
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Quote Originally Posted by portwood View Post
    Ay, therein lies the skepticism. Future release doesn't mean the bottles available at retail contain the same whisky sampled by the judges (batch variation etc). Skeptics, like me, will assume cherry picked samples.

    To be fair, that criticism isn't unique to Balcones. I think all entrants are probably engaging in the same practice (samples to competitions not same as product for general sale.
    Crooked bourbon, straight bourbon, Brimstone Resurrection, etc were all single barrels. There aren't different batches to submit since we literally don't have more than those lone casks.

    When we submit whiskies from our core portfolio we send the same batches we release to the public.

  8. #268
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balcones Winston View Post
    Balcones 5th Anniversary Texas Straight Bourbon - has been to retail but was extremely limited

    Balcones Texas Rum Special Release - just bottled this week, and will be at retail soon

    Balcones True Blue 100 - one of the core whiskies in our portfolio

    Balcones Brimstone Resurrection - bottled this week, will be released out of the distillery

    Balcones Crooked Bourbon - still aging

    Balcones Texas 1 Single Malt - one of the core whiskies in our portfolio

    Balcones Texas Rum - same thing as the "Special Release" but entered into competition at a slightly lower proof, 106
    So 2 of the 7 NY WWSC award winners are core products that should be readily available at retail. The other 5 are either coming soon or extremely limited at retail. Crooked Bourbon wins an award with no COLA label approval. There is only 1 COLA label approval for Balcones Rum and that is for a 100 proof product, which does not match either of the above (although label approval can be amended).

  9. #269
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    These criticisms, if that's what they are, should be directed at the award promoters, not at Balcones. I have no doubt that in every case they have followed the competition's rules in terms of what they've submitted. You'll notice that I rarely mention awards in my writings, except to say how little I think of them. At the same time, I have had the experience of criticizing awards until I win one, then I think they're great. It's a natural and largely attractive human instinct to pat each other on the back, so let's lighten up a bit.

    I'm also not sure why it's automatically suspect or a negative if people are getting awards for products that are not, or not yet, available at retail. Again, if you think there should be a competition that only judges stuff that's on the retail shelves, start one. You don't get to tell other people how to run their contests.
    Last edited by cowdery; 10-26-2013 at 14:45.

  10. #270
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    Re: Balcones: Next stop, world domination?

    Okay I'll wade into these treacherous waters. Awards are fine - I notice them but give them almost no consideration in my purchasing decisions of beverages. The wine industry has destroyed my view of an award being a rare and unique item - at least so far as it applies to food and wine. When wine makers started touting county fair awards (winner of the silver medal at San Diego County Fair) I realized that if a winemaker worked hard enough entering contests they'd eventually medal somewhere.

    Same holds true for most whisky scores and ratings. Sure when a whisky scores a 95+ on Serge's site that gets my attention but for the most part I don't pay that much attention to what any 'official' bible scores are of what tastes good. I don't know enough (nor do I really care to learn all that much more) to know which awards are the really valuable ones (ie which awards are the Oscars and which ones are local critics 'best ofs'...). I will say that if a critic, or friend, says something is worth tasting, and then I taste and agree with them, I'm more likely to give weight to their recommendations into the future. And the longer our palates are in agreement, the more weight I'll give their future recommendations and ratings.

    Balcones has won some awards - good on them. But more importantly they make interesting and tasty products - I know this because I've pulled open my wallet to buy them after tasting them at Whisky events. I'll admit all the hubbub around the brand meant I made a decision to taste them over something else but they earned my money fair and square. At some point discussing the awards industry in context of what a brand should or shouldn't do becomes, for me at least, an 'angels dancing on the head of pin' discussion - and one that the ultimately brand owners alone get to make. Interesting and abstract sure, but best had late at night over a dram or two around a table or at the bar. Come to Rhode Island and let's share a dram and continue this conversation.....
    Last edited by WhiskyRI; 10-27-2013 at 05:43. Reason: typosand clarifications

 

 

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