With all of the mess happening in Waco this week, I thought I should have a drink of Rumble tonight. This is batch R11-6 bottled on April 11, 2011 and I particularly like seeing the initials “CT” handwritten on the label in the Distiller field. Of course, CT stands for Chip Tate, the head distiller at Balcones and the creator of Rumble, which is a spirit made from Texas wildflower honey, Turbinado sugar and Mission figs. It’s also the first product offering from Balcones and is bottled at 47% ABV.
Nosing Rumble reveals notes of straw, honey, dried fig (really), dusty cocoa, overripe banana, field-burned cane sugar (as in for harvest) and a bit of cigar box. At full proof, there’s a bit of alcohol burn, but not much. Just a touch of water tones that down nicely.
The taste is honey, reedy cane, dried banana, grass, straw, bitter cocoa, bourbon vanilla bean, bruised banana peel and a mild amount of toffee. The mouthfeel is quite good throughout with an oily coating and carries a bit of white pepper into a finish that is mildly tannic and leathery. The overripe fruits balance well with a mildly peppery spice and fade slowly into the finish. After a while, ginger and white pepper become more evident just after the overripe fruit entry and the grassy and reedy notes move to the background. Just a drop of water opens up the flavors even more with a bit more spice, but it does little else to affect the balance.
This isn’t just unique, but it’s quite good. I’m reminded of rum, but there’s no confusing this with any rum that I’ve tasted. It’s enjoyable, easy to drink and distinctly different from start to finish. You really should give it a try if the profile sounds at all interesting. If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of Rumble Cask Reserve, then I would opt for that instead… the $20 premium is well worth it. Although I’ve tasted it, the only bottle I’ve seen for purchase was deferred to a guest from Canada who went home happy (he probably has the only bottle in the country).