The 4 Balcones Masterclasses are designed for the whisky lover ready for a deep dive into the process of making whisky, from nosing/tasting to distillation, maturation and lastly, blending. Please note the Master Classes will not include a tour of the distillery. Each class lasts approximately 3 hours. Must be 21 to participate.
Masterclass 101: Whisky Appreciation
Saturday, February 9th
Our Masterclasses start off with a deep dive into all that impacts our appreciation of whisky. Along with the usual stages of nosing, palate and finish we will explore the role of palate experience/sensory memory, how our vocabulary influences our experience and the effects of different glassware on aroma and flavor. We will explore some of the biology of how our senses and brain assemble our sense of flavor.
Masterclass 201: Distillation
Saturday, May 11th
An immersion into all the aspects of pot distillation, we will discuss fermentation parameters, esterification, reflux, making cuts along with the relevant physics and chemistry at many stages of the process. Some sensory evaluation of new make spirit off the stills will give participants a chance to try their hand at identifying heads, hearts and tails as well as new make from different grain bases.
Masterclass 301: Maturation
Saturday, August 10th
This class looks at the complex process of whisky maturation. What is being added, taken away, and transformed in the whisky as it ages? What is the role of the barrel and how do different oak species and barrel toast/char affect the spirit? We will also look at the role of climate and entry proof along with many samples to asses that represent different oak species, toast and char profiles, aging climate and entry proof.
Masterclass 401: Blending
Saturday, November 9th
The conclusion to our Masterclasses and the most hands-on. We begin with some basic knowledge and insight gleaned from our years of blending but quickly move on to assembling our own blends. We will sample 10 single barrels and after some sensory assessment and group discussion about the barrels each participant will use these building blocks to create a personal blend. At the end of the blending session each participant will hand-bottle their own custom one-of-a-kind blend to take home.
Book Your Classes Below
Our Tasting Room is open Tuesday – Saturday. Visitors can learn about the history and process of Balcones Distilling while enjoying a tasting flight, dram or one of our rotating cocktails. Each flight purchased receives $10.00 off one bottle of whisky. Ask for details during your visit. Annual or Special Release Whiskies are available for tasting while supplies last.
Join us for a tour of our distillery as we walk you through our distillation process that creates world-class whiskies in the heart of downtown Waco. Starting at our grain silos and finishing with a sampling of our whiskies, you’ll learn what makes Balcones unique. Tours fill up quickly – so book your spot today!
Please note that we cannot accommodate children on our tours. Guests must be 19 to join a tour and 21 to taste our spirits.
TUESDAY |WEDNESDAY |THURSDAY | FRIDAY | SATURDAY
Want to Gift a Tour Instead?
Note: this is not the same as booking a tour, this is only a gift card that goes towards purchasing a tour. Please see above for booking a distillery tour.
Click below to give the gift of a Balcones Tour!
OUR GIFT SHOP
Our gift shop offers a variety of Balcones merchandise, apparel, glassware and all currently available whiskies. All items (except our whiskies) are available on our online store – visit the Store tab. Whisky sales are restricted to two (2) 750ml bottles per person, every 30 days. Everyone must show a valid ID upon purchase of whisky. If you are interested in a specific whisky, please call ahead of your trip to confirm our current available bottles for sale in the gift shop.