Balcones Distillery in Waco last week released a small batch of Texas rum that the distillery says will slowly makes its way onto Texas shelves — and then quickly disappear.
This particular batch of rum, Balcones’ third, started with Barbados-style and blackstrap molasses and was put away to mature in four different barrels; two French oak, one American oak and one European cask. Then it was put all back together for a big happy rum renaissance before being poured at 63 percent ABV into 650 bottles. Hence, limited release.
The Balcones people don’t know exactly where you can find a bottle, nor are they pushing the issue because of the potential problems it could cause for retailers. A rumrunners rush? Sounds like fun, not a problem. Alas, their advice is to call your guy and request it. If you don’t have a guy at a liquor store who is savvy to these things, then just start calling around.
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, the recommend drinking style for Balcones’ Texas Rum 16-1 (16 for the year, 1 for the first batch) is with a few drops of water or nothing at all.
Despite parting ways with their original head distiller, Chip Tate, back in 2014, the little distillery under the bridge continues to rack up awards, upwards of 140 now. The current head distiller is Jared Himstedt, who was one of the first distillers there, alongside Tate, who helped build out the original distillery.
All Balcones products are made from scratch in stills that were handcrafted on-site. Their products are, to the legal and moral use of the term, distilled in Texas.
Balcones has recently moved into a new home in downtown Waco that will significantly expand their distilling capacity. So, perhaps in the years to come, we won’t have to race around town to get some. They plan on opening the distillery to the public this summer, with tours and tasting available “by appointment.”