Double Cask Nation Balcones 4 Year (2015)

Christmas Countdown 2020 #18: Double Cask Nation Balcones 4 Year (2015)

Distillery: Balcones

Bottler: Jewish Whisky Company

Region: Texas

Age: 4 Year. Distilled 2015. Bottled July 2020.

ABV: 60.9%

Cask Type: American Oak

Color: 1.7, Burnt Umber.

This is the 18th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the entire 2020 series here or the 2019 edition here.

Nose: (according to the wife) A lot of caramel and even more ethanol.

Palate: At full strength, this is undrinkable. It burns from the second it touches your tongue until way after it goes down. Highly unpleasant. After adding a large amount of water (a lot of water…almost half as much water as there was whiskey), it does eventually cool down and is quite tasty. It’s like a sugary dessert treat. There’s caramel, a slightly toasted version at least, along with something that reminds me a lot of snicker-doodle cookies and Snickers bars. There’s milk chocolate, nougat, a light dusting of cinnamon, and lots and lots of sugar.

Finish: Without water, it is painfully long with just a constant burn. After water is added, you get milk chocolate along with apples and snicker-doodle cookies. The ethanol doesn’t ever completely go away, but it does eventually get easier to ignore.

Conclusion: After taking my first few sips, first at full strength and then with a little bit of water added to it, I was nearly ready to pour it down the drain. My tongue felt like it was on fire and it was really unpleasant. Then I just decided to dump a bunch of water into it seeing if it would do anything and lo and behold it did. It went from being harsh and ethanol-y to being a nice, tasty dessert treat. The snicker-doodle cookies and Snickers bars just taste of overeating during the holidays. It’s delicious and sinful. The finish introduces a little bit of fruit which is a nice way to break up the sugar fest. Not bad at all, once you get it under control. Would I buy a bottle? Probably not.

Final Score: 81.

American Whiskey Review #83, American Single Malt Review #5, Whisky Network Review #360

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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