Country: USA
Region: Texas
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Barrel and Bottle
ABV: 64.6%
Score: 88 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 Hungarian Oak uses a second-fill cask. The nose is fruity and sweet with peaches, apricots, dried apple chips, and hints of honey and vanilla. The taste is oaky and sweet with tree fruits, ground pepper, and ginger root. The finish is long with oak tannins balanced by hints of tree fruits and honey. (January, 2020)