Balcones Cataleja Single Malt Review

Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt is a complex whisky matured in used Kentucky Bourbon barrels and then finished in a variety of Sherry puncheons. It is being released in celebration of Balcones Distilling's 15th anniversary. Want to find out more? Then read our full review!
Texas Single Malt Whisky
118 proof
Distilled & Bottled at:
Balcones Distilling, Waco, TX
MSRP: $125

Please enjoy our Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt Whisky review!

Balcones Distilling is celebrating their 15th anniversary with the launch of a new Texas Single Malt called Cataleja!

Cataleja Texas Single Malt Is Made With 100% Golden Promise

Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt is made with 100% Golden Promise Malted Barley. (As an aside, it is not the use of a single type of malt that makes Cataleja a “Single Malt”; it is the fact that it uses 100% malted barley and is made at only one distillery.) The distillate was first aged in used Kentucky Bourbon barrels for 3 years. Next, it was transferred into decommissioned Sherry Solera puncheons which had previously aged Moscatel Dorado, Amontillado Dulce, Ororoso & Palo Cortado.

Cataleja Single Malt was Finished In Both First Fill And Refill Sherry Casks

After a little more than a year of finishing in the first fill casks, this whisky was then transferred into neutral barrels while two more rounds of refill single malt were finished in those same sherry puncheons. Most of those finished whiskies also then spent time in neutral barrels to allow for the co-mingling of the whisky and sherry wine flavors. Finally, the barrels were then blended to create the final Cataleja blend.

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A Complex & Unique Whisky

Balcones Head Distiller Jared Himstedt stated: “Cataleja Texas Single Malt is one of the most complex and unique whiskies we’ve made”. That’s quite a statement for a distillery known for its complex, full flavored whiskies. So, I’m really excited to find out what this Cataleja Texas Single Malt is like!

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Tasting Notes – Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt Review

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Dried apricot and stone fruits, like sweet dark plums and cherries; Sweet black cherry soda; raspberry jam towards the back with a hint of raisins later on; the sherry character becomes more and more evident on subsequent sips; full and rich; light butterscotch; brown sugar; mild oak; mild alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Fairly sweet with brown sugar, butterscotch, dried apricot, sweet cherry soda, mild oak and sherry wine overtones
👉🏻Finish: Fruit and sherry flavors linger; dry oak, and even more so, capsaicin and black pepper spice, build throughout the finish; the finish is long, with lingering flavors and a moderate burn

Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt Review - Seal
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Quite A Bit Of Fruit In The Nose Transitioning To Spice In The Finish

Cataleja brings a lot of fruit on the nose with dried apricot and dark stone fruits becoming dominant as time goes on. After a few sips, raisins as well as sherry wine overtones become more noticeable. There is a richness, however, coming from butterscotch and brown sugar, as well. Dry oak starts off quite mild, but that will change by the finish. Similar flavors continue into the taste, with the sherry wine-like character continuing to become more pronounced with each sip. Finally, the long finish brings a continuation of those flavors, with ever increasing black pepper and capsaicin spice, and more evident dry oak.

I am very much enjoying Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt. The amount and complexity of the fruit in the nose surprised me a bit at first, but perhaps it shouldn’t have. Given the wide array of sherry casks used, the fruit is readily explained. After a few sips, more identifiable sherry flavors become evident. Brown sugar and butterscotch add a nice richness, as well. The escalation of black pepper and capsaicin spice and dry oak in the finish, serve as a nice contrast to the fruit and sweetness earlier on.

Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt Review - Bottle & Glencairn
Conclusion – Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt

In the few days that this bottle has been open, the richness and flavors have really blossomed. This is a delicious single malt, befitting of a fifteenth anniversary release. However, don’t be mistaken; this is a Texas Single Malt through and through, with big, bold flavors. If you are a fan of Balcones whiskies, then you will likely be a fan of the Cataleja as well! Cheers!

We hope you have enjoyed our Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt Whisky review! Would you like to read about another Balcones whisky? Then check out our Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky Review! You can also learn all about the Balcones distillery in our Balcones Distilling Tour Review!

This bottle was graciously provided to me for review by the distillery. Thank you!

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