In celebration of the pioneering Texas distillery’s 15th anniversary, Balcones Distilling has launched Cataleja Texas Single Malt.
“Cataleja Texas Single Malt is one of the most complex and unique whiskies we’ve made,,” says Jared Himstedt, head distiller at Balcones Distilling. “We each had our own vision of Cataleja, what it might become, and its individual character. Even now that it’s here, it’s more distinctive than we imagined. This process showcases our continued commitment to engaging with our whisky in a meaningful way to create unique, expressive flavors.”
Made with 100% Golden Promise Malted Barley, this single malt began its maturation journey in barrels previously used to age Kentucky bourbon. After three, it transferred into decommissioned Sherry Solera casks that were selected from various Spanish bodegas (wine cellars): Moscatel, Amontillado Dulce, Oloroso and Palo Cortado.
Because the first fill showcased the impact of the 80+ year old casks, the whisky was transferred back into neutral barrels and then followed with two additional rounds of refill single malts through the decommissioned casks, as they continued to provide sherry impact alongside the malt character, the company reports.
“Cataleja Texas Single Malt is an ode to whisky makers of the past; it is our way of honoring the makers who’ve come before us and using the best of the techniques and the ingredients that they had at their disposal,” says Himstedt. “This complex whisky not only pays homage to the pioneers who have inspired us, but it also embraces the relentless pursuit of crafting something uniquely its own.”
Aromas include brandied figs with smoked paprika that build to sautéed apricots served on an olive wood spoon, according to distillery notes. Additional aromas include notes of sobrasada garnished with orange zest, mossy cherry cavendish and venison jerky in browned butter. The palate brings medjool dates stuffed with cashew butter, cacao nib and ground clove, according to the distillery, which transitions into notes of eucalyptus oil and burnt lemon peel. Pineapple kebabs on matchstick and cinnamon skewers fade to a bittersweet finish of licor de hierbas and affogato made with cherry ice cream.
Cataleja Texas Single Malt is 118 proof. It is available for a suggested retail price of $125 at retailers in Texas, California, Illinois, Colorado, New York and Florida, and can be pre-ordered on ReserveBar.com.
Balcones Distilling was purchased by Diageo late last year.