Two Texan entities come together on a new whisky, as up and coming Balcones Distilling partners with the legendary ZZ Top on the aptly named Tres Hombres Whisky.
Based out of Waco, Texas, Balcones Distilling has been turning heads with its American craft whiskey, most notably its Texas Single Malt Whisky and Baby Blue – Blue Corn Whisky. Through its short history that dates back to 2009, Balcones has been awarded numerous awards and is at the forefront of the American Single Malt revolution.
Enter in the iconic rock and blues band ZZ Top that has over 50 years of music history, including an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2004. During its career, ZZ Top has recorded 15 studio albums and sold an estimated 50 million albums worldwide. Unfortunately, co-founding member Dusty Hill passed away last year. But the band continues on as it will headline a tour of Western Canada with openers Cheap Trick this spring.
This collaborative whisky is named after the band’s third studio album, Tres Hombres that dates back nearly 49 years with songs such as La Grange, Waitin’ for the Bus, and Jesus Just Left Chicago. The whisky label features caricatures of the three most well-known members of ZZ Top – Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard.
Tres Hombres Whisky is made using three distinct grains – Roasted Blue Corn, Malted Barley and Rye. Each of these grains were separately aged for at least 4 years prior to blending with the members of ZZ Top, safely via Zoom, that finishes at 100 proof.
And to take this one step further, each grain is a tribute to each member of the band. The blue corn provides a solid bass layer and an oily body. Next, the malted barley matured in virgin oak, for a soft-toned mid-palate and a stone fruit heavy finish, and finally, rye, to deliver a bright spicy top note to the whole ensemble. Nicely done!
Tres Hombres Whisky pours a dark caramel color with some lingering legs. Yes, after a quick swirl, this whisky has got legs! The nose is full of brown sugar, corn, honey, and a smidgeon of chocolate. Moving on to the palate, the brown sugar and corn continue over into the flavor of the whisky. There’s some Texas spice there too from the rye, combined with the touch of heat from the 100 proof is quite desirable. It then finishes with a bit of ginger and cinnamon on the tongue.
If you can locate a bottle of Tres Hombres Whisky, we recommend this one. It is available in Texas and possibly a few neighboring states for the time being and is said to be rolling out to additional markets in the future. Learn more by visiting https://balconesdistilling.com/.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.