Country: USA
Region: Texas
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Barrel and Bottle
ABV: 65.9%
Score: 90 points

Barrel and Bottle Balcones Single Malt. Image courtesy Barrel and Bottle.Barrel and Bottle founder Dave Sweet and his partners came up with an unusual concept for their debut release in 2019, persuading Balcones Distilling to let them “deconstruct” the three types of casks used in the Balcones Texas Single Malt and bottle the American Oak, Hungarian Oak, and French Oak-matured whiskies separately. “Deconstructions” are popular master classes at whisky festivals, but this is one of the rare occasions when an independent bottler has been allowed to deconstruct a distillery’s flagship whisky with the distillery’s cooperation.

All three casks were matured for slightly less than three years, and the French Oak comes from a first-fill cask that’s similar to the ones Balcones uses for its Fr.Oak Single Malt. The nose is very aromatic with tropical fruits and hints of dried flowers. The taste is spicy with clove and cinnamon, followed by touches of citrus fruits that come out as the spices fade along with hints of caramel and honey. The finish is long and sweet with subtle touches of spices and oak. (January, 2020)