• Anthony Riccardi

Balcones Lineage - Blending Project



Balcones Lineage

Texas Single Malt Whisky

Pot Distilled

94 Proof

Aged at least 36 Months in Oak

Distilled and Bottled by Balcones Distilling

Waco, Texas


I received a Direct Message about a month and a half ago from Balcones asking if I'd be interested in trying their Lineage and participating in a blending project to do my best to match the blend they use for their actual release. So I completely geeked out and of course I accepted. My background is in Oil and Petroleum where I was an Assistant Laboratory Manager for a Third-Party Laboratory. Blending was one of our major causes for testing. So naturally, I wanted to seriously sit down with this fun project and take my time.


My Initial thought was I'd start in on these blends using a gravimetric approach, but I lack a lot of the equipment I used to use on a daily basis in the laboratory. Volumetric it is. While not precise again due to the lack of instrumentation, I made due with what I had. It's all for fun anyway but it still kills me not to be precise.


The initial Blend was an equal parts composite of the components provided along with 20% Spring Water to line up the proof. (Details were provided on a card with the kit 1:5).


2mL (25%) - Texas Malted Barley in used European Oak - Barrel 13516

2mL (25%) - Texas Malted Barley in New European Oak - Barrel 18463

2mL (25%) - Golden Promise Malted Barley (Scotland) in Used Kentucky Bourbon - Barrel 18589

2mL (25%) - Golden Promise Malted Barley (Scotland) in New American Oak - Barrel 17583

1.6mL - Spring Water


This blend was much lighter in color and flavor compared to the Lineage, but a good benchmark nonetheless.


Next I decided to match the color a little better and see if the palate followed suit:


3mL (30%) - Texas Malted Barley in used European Oak - Barrel 13516

3mL (30%) - Texas Malted Barley in New European Oak - Barrel 18463

2mL (30%) - Golden Promise Malted Barley (Scotland) in Used Kentucky Bourbon - Barrel 18589

2mL (30%) - Golden Promise Malted Barley (Scotland) in New American Oak - Barrel 17583

2mL - Spring Water


The color was closer and the palate was almost there, but I knew I could do better. I needed a little more of the two darker components to match the color better.


The third blend I created matches the color of Lineage almost perfectly, but is the palate there? Only one way to find out. Here are the stats of the third blend:


2mL (16.7%) - Texas Malted Barley in used European Oak - Barrel 13516

4mL (33.3%)- Texas Malted Barley in New European Oak - Barrel 18463

2mL (16.7%) - Golden Promise Malted Barley (Scotland) in Used Kentucky Bourbon - Barrel 18589

4mL (33.3%) - Golden Promise Malted Barley (Scotland) in New American Oak - Barrel 17583

2.4mL - Spring Water


The result of the third blend is very similar to the what I get on the Lineage. Some fantastic Single Malt notes of yeast, creamy caramel and vanilla on the nose. The palate follows suit with the vanilla and caramel along with tobacco and tea leaf creating a very mellow and lightly spiced finish. Could this be the blend? I'd love to keep going but I don't want to run out of the individual components and I still want to recreate this blend for others to try and see their reaction. I honestly think I'm close, but I've been sipping for the past 3 hours, so theres a major variable.


What a great project and a huge thank you to the folks at Balcones for providing the bottle of Lineage and all the blending components. Cheers! 🥃📖🥃




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