Balcones Cataleja takes whisky drinkers on a new trip to mark the Texas distiller’s 15th anniversary. This single malt brings together the past, present, and future of the craft without taking away from the distiller’s award-winning other drinks. The Balcones Cataleja should be your first choice when you want to toast something special.
People from Texas may believe that everything is bigger and better there, but when you think of whisky companies, Waco might not be the first place that comes to mind. Home improvement stores have indeed made the small town more well-known, but Balcones Distilling took that “bigger is better” attitude from Texas and used it in their process.
In this case, the trip started with the food. By using locally grown ingredients, like malted barley from Texas, the distillers wanted to show that carefully choosing the right grains is the first step to making a great product. From then on, the cleverness, skill, and originality can really shine.
Balcones Distilling has won many awards for its products over the years. Balcones Distilling’s Texas 1 Single Malt was recently named Whiskey of the Year at the New Orleans Spirits Competition. The company also won two gold awards and two double gold awards. All of those awards are well-deserved, but the brand is always looking to write the next part of their story.
In honor of its 15th anniversary, Balcones Cataleja is a one-of-a-kind gift that fits the event. The brand says that “Calleja” can loosely mean “spyglass,” which is what the label shows. But that reference is more than just a way to get to greatness. It means being ready to question the status quo, push the limits, and enjoy the successes that come from taking chances.
When you look at this particular bottle, the Golden Promise Malted Barley and different casks came together to make a complex whisky that isn’t like any other on the market. Sherry casks may be trendy in the world of liquor right now, but this spirit adds a little something extra to the talk. When you pour the whisky for the first time, the mix of savory, nutty brown butter and tangy orange makes you feel both at ease and excited. With smoked paprika, brandied figs, and even a touch of peach, the smell makes you want to take a first bite of an interesting dish.
When you take your first sip, you’ll taste something sweet. The nuttiness and date-forward note together make it feel like a bit of an old-fashioned sweet. The warm spices and fruit notes in the background are comforting and delicious. It’s a little silly, but not in a childish way. It gives you a sense of wonder and a desire to discover right away. After one sip, there are more to come. The experience wants to be had again and again after the glass is empty.
There are some links between the drinks that Balcones Distilling makes, but the Cataleja shows where the brand might be going. Many people will want this bottle to be a part of their special celebrations, both because it honors its past and looks forward to its future. Everything might be bigger in Texas, and this special whisky is Balcones Distilling’s big, bold statement that they are a force in the whiskey business.