I attended the Balcones tasting event at the incomparable Brandy Library in TriBeCa. For a great description of this superlative NYC whisky bar, you cannot do better than to read Allison Patel's fabulous post evangelizing the Brandy Library. Allison is Balcones brand ambassador for California, exporter, and blogger of The Whisky Woman. Bottom line, The Brandy Library is one of NYC's top whisky bars, period and a must visit for whisky or spirit enthusiasts who come to the Big Apple.
|Chip Tate in front of a crush of people|
(Photo kindly courtesy of The Bourbon Blog - also in attendance)
|Allison Patel, "The Whisky Woman"|
|Chip Tate of Balcones|
Baby Blue threw me for a loop this time. I had had it before, but never at leisure. It had seemed a bit rough and raw to me. Allison fetched me a glass and the capable staff at the bar knew to provide ice water for drinking in one glass and room temperature Saratoga spring water with an eyedropper for precise dilutions in another without even being asked. Very classy. With time and a few drops of water Baby Blue was transformed into a refined and delicious dram. Intense confectioner's powder sugar opening yields to a seductive earthy, almost smoky, blue corn flavor quite reminiscent to True Blue's richer stronger palate, but fresh, immediate, yet gentle and eminently quaffable. Baby Blue's growing popularity suddenly made a great deal of sense to me.
|Mackmyra The First properly served|
When things thinned out at Chip's pouring table I went over and started with a dram of the featured item: Rumble Cask Reserve. Mead sweetness expands into rich citrus with Cognac-like refinement. Chip was nice enough to let me take the remains of a bottle for a formal review - my next post coming up here on The Coopered Tot.
|The unlabeled bottles are the special casks|
I had two of these special selections in the remainder of the evening. First up Cask 1613, True Blue - intense powder sweet, citrus peel, and an august refinement through the entry and mid palate. All my favorite aspects of True Blue were clear: the earthy rich blue corn at the back end which tastes like America; the flavors of West Texas chapparell dust. But now the flavors were intensified. The sweetness exquisite on entry and the citrus taking on even more of a cognac richness and elegance. What a monster. A true five star selection if I ever had one.
|Cask 1613 (left) and Cask 1200|
All in all, a tremendously enjoyable evening thanks to Chip Tate, Allison Patel, and the extraordinary Brandy Library.