logo

My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

London Distillery LV 1767 Edition

Note: This was first attempt to limit my increasingly rare tasting notes to 280 characters so I can also tweet full review rather than link for all my millenial readers....

London Distillery LV 1767 Edition

54.3% ABV, 100% Rye and aged for 1400 days

Nose: Black cherry, plum, Cadbury Fruit and Nut with biscuit

Taste: Sweet, chocolate, coffee and more fruit

Finish: Peppermint and oak bitterness. Slight grain note indicative of youth

Read More
  • Friday, 05 September 2014 20:35

    Balcones: A Case of Seller's Remorse?

    Written by

    In this entry I am going to try and consolidate the opinion I have shared on various other web pages, Twitter and Facebook into a single, possibly coherent, position. I am very conscious of the fact that “both sides of the story” have not yet come out and I may yet be proved to be more inaccurate than Matt Schaub throwing a pass.  However I am more interested in the core of this issue than the “he said / she said” of recent events that is no doubt going to be focus of most of the coverage. I am also conscious that I may be expelled from the virtual whisky community (#whiskyfabric) for heresy but if that is the case I was already out of step and all I am doing is stating how I feel and it will be cleansing to do so.

    Balcones was started by Chip Tate in Waco, Texas and he produced some rather interesting, sometimes great, often weird and occasionally (in my opinion) average whisky. I think even he would admit to some inconsistency especially early on. However the whisky media and bloggers went “super ape shit crazy” (technical term) for his stuff, some with good reason and some for reasons I can’t begin to fathom. Chip went “global”. He became a Whisky Kardashian (without the sex tape – thank god – and an appalling mother figure trying to live vicariously through her daughters success).  A whisky superstar was born and I honestly saw more of Chip Tate at events like WhiskyLive London than I did at local events in Texas. Clearly he was “going to need a bigger boat” to secure Balcones place at the whisky’s top table and plans were announced to expand. And that is where this story goes to its darker second act. I have even suggested that media and bloggers who stoked the fires have some accountability for this.

    Of course Chip needs money to expand and along come the investors (or the “suits” as they have been referred to). Chip asked them in. He wanted their money. He sold a majority share of the company to them. What bastards! How dare they try to run the company they bought the majority of! If you want to stay in control of your business, the best advice I can give is don’t sell it. Just because you started a business it doesn’t give you lifetime ownership of that business. If that means that expansion is not in your immediate future then accept that and stay in control. Perhaps he was badly advised, perhaps even mislead by investors or others, but when you sell something you lose control of it. That is the moral of this story. Chip apparently chose expansion over control. 

    At end of the day I hope this situation is resolved, and the third act is happy, feel good ending. Perhaps they reconcile and go onto to great things, maybe Chip starts again and stays small (and in control) if that is what he wants. Personally I hope Chip and his investors are reunited and Chip goes onto to make lots more Balcones Single Malt, perhaps a follow up to the stunning Vth Bourbon and, if I had my way, a lot less Brimstone and Rumble.

    More in this category: « Question... The End of the Road? »

    Leave a comment

    Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 655

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

    Follow Me on Twitter!

    Random Whisky

    Highland Park 30 year old

    I rarely drink whiskies of this age so was not quite sure what to expect.  The nose was actually quite elusive and soft at first and alcohol was detectable (it is bottled at 48.1% ABV), then some smoke, sweetness, saltiness and finally a hint of citrus, oranges maybe.  The taste was more powerful than the nose, nothing elusive here, it set my mouth tingling with the first sip from the smoke, oak, spices and some salt.  With water it softened and then I could detect sweet caramel and vanilla before a smokey finish longer than scottish winter night.  A massive whisky, an after dinner treat or perhaps the last dram of the night (you may still taste it in the morning).