Balcones Brujeria & Hechiceros Review

Balcones Brujeria – Distillery: Balcones. ABV: 62.9%. Grain bill: 100% malted barley. No age statement. Price: $120.

Balcones Hechiceros – Distillery: Balcones. ABV: 61.5%. Grain bill: 100% malted barley. No age statement. Price: $90.

Longtime followers of The Axis know that I have what some have described as an “obsession” for American single malts – a relatively new category of American whiskey produced using 100% malted barley. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I was thrilled to receive an invitation to the Balcones 10th Anniversary party in Waco, Texas.

The highlight of the event was the release of two special single malts, this sherry cask finished Brujeria (Spanish for ‘witchcraft’) and the port cask finished Hechiceros (‘sorcerers’). I’ve been impressed with the classic Balcones “1” single malt for a long time now, but these cask finished releases offer an exciting new exploration into what is possible down in Texas.

The Brujeria (62.9% ABV, $120) has notes of dark fruits and earthiness mixed with a pleasant nuttiness. The Hechiceros (61.5% ABV, $90) is sweeter and lighter with notes of berries, dried fruits and a light spiciness. Both are built on a solid framework of Balcones’ distinct single malt DNA and the finishes add plenty of unique layers to unwrap. Although proudly Texan, these could hold their own against any sherry or port finished single malt from abroad.

Stay tuned for forthcoming reviews of the Balcones whiskeys that are not single malts, including their blue corn and rye whiskeys.

Cheers, friends! -JTR

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