Nose: In very simple terms this spirit catches me like a whiskey/tequila hybrid. The nose catches vegetal, grassy, earthy notes. There’s a distinct nose of young corn in there, but not the murky, oily corn of bourbon; it’s a fresh almost a low proof new-make style nose of corn. Rounding out the nose, baby blue has notes of almonds and sweet tarts.
Taste: This product has a back label that actually explains what the bottle tastes like “Baby Blue isn’t bourbon nor white lightning.” That’s really what it tastes like, a cross between new make and an aged whiskey. Fresh off the still spirit with a touch of oak. Just enough oak to remind us why corn based spirits are better with time in the barrel. Lots of fresh, young notes -- grass, salinity, a little bit of orange rind.
Finish: Some nice bitter notes round out the finish, which really makes this distinctive from the harsh, hollow finish of a new make. A nutty note complements this bitterness.
Balance: It’s hard to evaluate what I think of this in terms of straight American spirits, because, well, it’s not one. It’s a nice detour from bourbon and rye, but preserves some of that American terroir. A fun bottle from a promising distillery.
Stupid Letter Grade: B-
Would I Buy Again: No, but I will be buying Balcones in the future.