Nose - rich caramel, raisin, fig, dark chocolate, brown butter, cinnamon toast, apple, grilled peach, nutmeg, clove, rich oak, vanilla, black pepper, ash, leather, tobacco, cherry, moderate to high ethanol burn.
Taste - raisin toast, apple, dark chocolate, coffee, rich salted caramel, cinnamon, allspice, molasses, maple, graham cracker, nutmeg, clove, spicy oak, vanilla bean, toasted marshmallow, black cherry, black pepper, tobacco, leather, moderate to high alcohol bite, finishing long with rich caramel, tannic oak, dark chocolate, and strong baking spice flavors.
Based on the week I’ve had with Balcones, it should come as no surprise that this French Oak offering is another winner. The aromas and flavors are cranked to eleven, as you’d expect with Balcones. The caramel, dark chocolate, and baking spice notes are extremely rich and balanced nicely by sweet dark fruit flavors. The finish lingers for what seems like minutes, allowing ample time to reflect on the experience between sips.
It’s crazy that this amount of richness can exist in a spirit aged fewer than two years, but I’m no longer surprised by this in Texas whiskies. Unfortunately, the French Oak doesn’t appear to be widely available. I can’t find a retail price for this, but I’m assuming it’s at or above the $100 mark. I won’t be searching this out to add to my collection, but it’s delicious and absolutely worth trying if you can find it. Luckily I didn’t have to, as @jonwilkinson7309
very generously provided this sample for me to review.