Ten years ago, Balcones was a tiny startup distillery in an old welding shop under a bridge in Waco, Texas. After it was all refurbished and equipped with copper pot stills from Portugal, a new shiny Whisky distillery was born, and the magic could start.
In addition to a classic Texas Single Malt, and two blue corn Whiskies, Balcones makes a breathtakingly good 100% Rye Whisky, made from Elbon Rye from Northwest Texas. In a wonderful magic following traditional recipes and methods, a real champion arises. This very expression is a celebration of the distillery's 10th anniversary and it's bottled at 100 proof. It's aged in new and charred oak barrels under two years in the moody climate of Texas, where temperatures swing from scorching hot to cozy cold in just one day and where barrels breathe at a much faster rate. It's also diluted with Hill Country spring water and there are no dirty additives and no flavor enhancements. It's pure and superb.
My wife and I split a 50 mL sample.
We did not finish it. The chocolate is overpowering and cheap tasting. Like a cup of off brand chocolate milk that got left out and evaporated, and then you swiped the reduced sludge with your finger.
I blended a tsp of this rye with a 1-2 tsp each of bulleit rye, Sazerac, and whistlepig, and it was much more interesting. It brought a chocolate note that was more subtle.
While we did not enjoy it neat, it might be interesting in a cocktail, or add a chocolate note to a blend or infinity bottle.
We poured the remaining half of our glass back into the sample bottle.
Maybe we will experiment again on a rainy day.
Definitely a spicy drink. It lingers in your tough.
I love it! Not a rye fan until this one.
I’m not a smoker, but if you are, you can taste the Tobacco.
I love the flavor from this. Unlike any of my other ryes. The rich, dark flavors of tobacco and chocolate are definitely in my favorites.
Not my cup of tea.
The chocolate On the palate is overpowering and really off putting.
One of the best Rye whiskeys I’ve ever had. A complexity that is more tea than heat. It wonderful neat or in a cocktail. I believe this to be the best rye for an Old Fashion, in my lame opinion.
I love the chocolate in this rye. I am normally not a sweet enthusiat and do not enjoy Bourbon. This is very different than most Rye’s !
Really liked it's sweet spicey-ness. Got it in the whiskey advent calendar and enjoyed it a lot.
Really liked it's sweet spicey-ness. Got it in the whiskey advent calendar and enjoyed it a lot.
A bit spicy for me. Still a good one to drink.
Delicious. Chocolate and sweet tobacco. The single sample left me wanting more.
Normally enjoy a good eye but this wasn't my fave.
Probably my favorite from Balcones, although not necessarily saying much. There are a lot of earthy flavors that come out in this one.
Tobacco chocolate start moving into slight mint and finishing with a harsh, strong rye that stays on the tongue.
Excellent value. Spice w chocolate. A more complex profile than the price tag suggests.
This is a great rye with a lot of complexity for the price.
Makes an awesome szarac
This was terrible. Would NOT recommend.
Easily the most flavorful American whiskey I have tried in a long time. Tastes great straight and holds up well in a cocktail even in small proportions. Will definitely buy again
Love the chocolate taste. Subtle and tasty
Aggressive spicy flavor profile. Bite of rye with a pepper finish. The aroma of tobacco was appropriate to the taste.
It is a very good, rich, 100% Elbon Rye Whiskey that has an aromatic birth; while a rich & silky life leads to a delicate & minty death with hints of buttered corn, dry oak & cedar.
Terrible. No redeeming quality
Interesting. Wow -- spicy chocolate!
lots of flavor
Color is amber. Nose starts with a little youth. A little sweetness, with darker notes of chocolate and cocoa follow, with even deeper and more subtle oak. First sip is dark and herbal, with notes of cocoa and oak, and a generally earthy flavor. Mouthfeel is is neither viscous nor thin. Some youth on the palate, but the notes almost accent the cocoa and herbal tones. Finish is a combination of herbal tones and youthfulness. Overall, surprisingly flavorful for its age, and nice cocoa-filled palate for a pleasant change up in the Rye category.
Lots of chocolate flavor up front and all the way through, really. Sort of straw like flavor after that and then spicy at the end. Agree that it is more of an aperitif due to it sweetness. Probably great with coffee or Kahlua
Chocolate and cocoa very prevalent. A little too sweet and chocolatey for my taste in a rye, but not bad for a one year old.
Different than I expected. Chocolate more forward than I expected. Enjoying it. Sort of thing it’d mix well.
Chocolate w light oak
Hands down best rye ive ever had. Spicy black pepper nose, warm and chocolaty taste with tobacco and espresso, long dense finish of chocolate.
I enjoyed this more than I expected; smooth given the proof, age and price point, chocolate and sweet up front, chili pepper on the finish. Nose is raisins and leather.
With heavy notes of chocolate and cocoa this drinks more like a desert. Would be very nice late at night after a meal, definitely not something to sip while eating other foods. But overall quite nice.
Very chocolaty, a great after dinner whiskey.
Aroma:. A malty tequila? Taste: peppery spice, hints of chocolate and tobacco. On ice: tobacco on chocolate more prominent.
Meh, not great compared to other ryes. Overall ok.
Very chocolatey and a little too sweet
Didn't really enjoy the flavor
Is this hot cocoa mixed with coffee and a shot of rye whiskey?
This came in my sampler and you can really taste chocolate marshmallow minty ness with this still being an amazing whiskey. It’s one of my faves so far.
The cocoa finish is unexpected but tasty. Sample in my advent calendar. This is something fun I’d like to share with friends.
Really enjoyed this, and a great value. The chocolate notes are apparent, as advertised. Ironically I get some sweet corn in the nose and front of the palate ending with grain and a slow finish. Primary criticism would be a short finish with a bit of a sting going down
Sweat on the nose, almost like cherries, but that admittedly isn't listed in the flavor spiral. Unfortunately, this rye is very harsh to taste and overpowers the other flavors. There is some chocolate in the aftertaste. Once I added some ice the harshness was diluted and the chocolate was more prevalent, but overall the balance is still off.
This is my second review of this dram. I tasted it blind this time, and appreciated it more. The nose shares a buttery cocoa concoction. The taste is chocolate brownies baked over a mesquite fire. It is immediately obviously Texan in heritage. I am really appreciating that region, and Balcones in particular.
Like the chocolate flavor...a nice dessert whiskey
So awful! Undrinkable! I poured it down the sink. I was really surprised, because the Balcones Single Malt was wonderful and the Balcones Baby Blue Corn whiskey was decent. I like a good rye, so it's not that I'm biased. This was astringent, painful to drink. Harsh on the tongue and harsh in the throat.
Loved the unique chocolate flavor
I wanted this to be my favorite of the group because I classically enjoy ryes most of American whiskeys, but this was harsh abs average at best. The decent flavors underneath were hard to get to, and that’s coming from someone who enjoys a good bite to their whiskey.
I usually dont care for Rye at all but Balcones changed my mind,
theres something special about this Whiskey that I dont get with my Scotch.
Theres a sharp dark chocolate bitterness almost like a dark mint wet earth flavor that lingers after you swallow.
Its strange but oh so satisfying.
I did not care for this rye one bit. The tobacco, chocolate and ashtray flavors are overpowering. It's a death match between flavors that don't agree with my palate. I was excited to try it, but the ashtray component makes this rye undrinkable.
Thought I smoked a pack of cigarettes
Straight away i smell that Texas mesquite aroma. A bit deeper is cacao, and it lingers nicely. Almost a mint chocolate tasting note and again mesquite. Finished with bitter chocolate. It has that Balcones family lineage in spades.
Decent, but not my best rye.
Dark chocolate all the way! I'm recently a huge fan of and whiskey or whisky with a hint or a lot of chocolate in the flavor. Not flavored mind you, but say from chocolate malt or other aging methods. Easily one of my top ryes. Heat but smooth.
Another one of their products that tastes more like flavored white spirits. Thin body, high alcohol, harsh and tastes like drinking a flavored moonshine
Tastes like absolute dirt. Awful. Dumped the whole bottle.
I have to say, this rye is like no other anyone could ever have. My wife doesn't drink whisky, but when I try something new I always ask her (an inexperienced nose and palate) to tell me what she smells and tastes. Right off, we both smell chocolate! This is a highly unusual whiskey. First taste is rye, then immediately a cocoa and finished really smooth like you just drank a hot cup of cocoa. If you want to experience a whiskey with a natural taste of chocolate, this is it! Great experience! Will stock this one!
My first attempt at Rye this was surprisingly nice although a bit stronger than Johnnie Walker black (my go to) but similar taste I would definitely recommend.
A rock solid rye! Definitely potent in power & flavor. Not over spicy or smoky, but not sweet either. That being said, it’ll put hairs on your chest and don’t underestimate the bite! A wonderfully sipping whisky from the great state of Texas!
Too much chocolate for me. The scent carried the cocoa and a hint of mint. The initial taste brought the rye pepper spice, but immediately was overshadowed by the thick cocoa body and the lingering cocoa powder after taste. Not bad, but not the flavor profile I like in a Rye. I imagine blended into a bit of espresso, you'd have the makings of a solid dessert drink. Balcones makes some great stuff, this one just didn't do it for me.