Nose: Spicy rye and sugared sweetness give way to pecan, fragrant vanilla and a touch of geranium. A little water (not too much) reveals a fruitiness that was only hinted at before; ripe pear and dried apricot. Anise and clove too, beneath a core of caramel and pepper.
Palate: Big at 64.20% abv, but not at all 'spirity'. Treacle, oak and cracked pepper. A touch of caffè Americano.
Finish: A little tobacco leaf picks up where the coffee left off, with dark caramel, rye, maple syrup, pecan and Toffifee!
Overall: This is a quite exceptional straight bourbon. The perfect way to celebrate five years of Balcones, one of the most exciting distilleries in the world and real trailblazers of the US craft whisk(e)y movement.