You all need to make haste to acquire a bottle of Balcones whisky out of Waco. Then, toast to founder Chip Tate for and making us all so proud with his exquisite whisky-making skills.
Since opening his micro-distillery in 2008 (literally from scratch), Tate continues to rack up awards. His was the first distillery to be awarded Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky - Craft Distillery of the Year, and Wizards of Whisky's Global Distillery of the Year, and U.S. Craft Distillery of the Year, all in 2012. So far, he's collected over five-dozen medals and awards.
For this most recent award, the headline from The Spirits Business reads: "The world outside Scotland has begun to challenge the supremacy of Scotch with quality whisky of its own."
By world outside Scotland, funny enough, they mean Waco. The first-hand account of the judging describes some surprised palates:
"The day's judging kicked off with Bourbon and rye from the States, which raised eyebrows in pleasant surprise and drew wide acclaim from the panel. The first and only Master of the day went to the first bottle sampled, Balcones Straight Texas Bourbon, a rare whisky created to celebrate the distillery's fifth anniversary. Just 10 bottles are being released in the next few weeks in the UK alone.
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Additionally, Balcones Brimstone Whisky won gold in the American whisky category and the Waco distiller's single malt whisky won silver in the same category. Three makes it a clean sweep of the boards.
Tate says he's "over the moon to have received a Master medal for our 5th anniversary single cask bourbon."
In the Dallas area, you can buy Balcones at: Sigel's on Greenville, Fitzhugh and Inwood. True Spirits on Parker, Spec's on Walnut Hill and Parker, Total Wine on Park and Goody Goody #10 and #11 (you'll have to figure out where 10 and 11 are). Lastly, Perry's Liquor.
Update: Just heard from Balcones, supplies are limited at all retail outlets, so you might want to call ahead. However, good news: Balcones is building a bigger boat. A new larger distillery should be complete by early 2015, which means a better stock world-over.