Balcones Awarded Grand American Whiskey Master; Texas Blue Corn Special Release Bourbon Brought Home Trophy for American Whiskey Taste Master

WACO, TX – In the presence of some of the spirits industry's best, Balcones Distilling took home two prestigious awards during The Spirits Business' annual Spirits Masters Awards Lunch on Tuesday, Dec. 3, in London, England. Balcones was named Grand American Whiskey Master 2015 and also brought home the American Whiskey Taste Master 2015 for Texas Blue Corn Special Release Bourbon. These accomplishments come on the heels of Balcones sweeping the World Whisky Masters (WWM) competition earlier this year, which is a part of the Global Spirits Masters competition.

“To be recognized at this level of competition and by impartial judges is a real honor,” said Balcones Head Distiller Jared Himstedt. “We are continually humbled that our hard work and passion translates into a world-class spirit that people love.”

According to The Spirits Business the Global Spirits Masters is one of the most renowned blind tasting competitions in the world. Each year medalists who have accumulated the most points in individual Spirits Masters competitions are eligible to be named Grand Masters during the ceremony. Balcones was awarded Grand Master based on the number of other awards the distillery received in 2015 during the WWM competition. Balcones was awarded six medals in five categories for their blue corn and single malt whiskies.

Texas Blue Corn Special Reserve Bourbon was chosen as the best spirit in its category. This is the first year the Global Spirits Masters has recognized individual spirits as Taste Masters.

“Over the course of the year at each Global Spirits Masters session, the judges re-tasted every Master medal winner from each category to determine which should win,” said Kristiane Sherry, editor of The Spirits Business in a recent article about the competition. “Because the Taste Master judging process remained completely blind and the winner was decided by a panel, these awards have real significance and the selected spirits now have the highest endorsement.”

When Balcones' Texas Blue Corn Special release Bourbon was awarded its first Master medal at the August WWM, judges described it as a “firecracker” with a finish that “was everlasting; something you'd never want to end.”

Texas Blue Corn Bourbon is the newest expression in Balcones' portfolio, made from the same blue corn mash as other celebrated Balcones whiskies Baby Blue, True Blue and Brimstone. Aged in new, charred American oak barrels and bottled at a cask strength of 64.5 percent, the whisky is big and bold but stays true to its origins, delivering fresh blue corn aroma and flavor. Texas Blue Corn Bourbon is currently sold out, with a new batch expected to be ready in 2016.

Balcones Distilling currently operates under the 17th Street Bridge in downtown Waco, Texas, but will be moving nearby to a new, larger distillery in early 2016. The new location will provide Balcones' distillers the capacity to meet growing demand, while maintaining the quality and authenticity our consumers demand and also offering the flexibility to create new styles of Texas whiskies and spirits. Brand new copper pot stills from Forsyths of Scotland are a stand-out feature at the nearly 100-year-old structure of steel, concrete and brick. Additionally, Balcones will have four times the spirit still capacity in the new location, with room to grow. Production is expected to begin at the expanded facility in February 2016.

For more information about the Global Spirits Masters click here.