Balcones Prohibida Rum

Balcones Prohibida Rum (Photo by the brand)

Prohibida Rum

One of my best friends works for Balcones Distilling, and after a D&D session, he said, “Hey, I have whiskey for you. It’s in my car.” He was returning my bottle of Balcones Distilling’s High Plains Single Malt but also had two samples for me. One really piqued my interest; their Pot Still Rum finished in ex-peated whisky barrels called “Prohibida” (Spanish for “prohibited”).

I found almost no information about this release on the internet, so I reached out to the person who would know best; the Balcones head distiller Jared Himstedt. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get hold of Jared, but I spoke with James Goad, Balcones’ California state manager, who told me it was aged for at least 33 months in ex-peated Balcones single malt whisky barrels.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Very floral forward with notes of lavender, followed by lots of honey and notes of dark chocolate biscuits. While it also has the typical notes of aged rum: caramel, fruit bouquet, and baking spice, those aromas are slightly muted by the intensity of the peated barrel that this rum was finished in. Where I expected typical briny/smokey/iodine-y notes, more of a burnt-charcoal-briquette aroma enveloped the spirit.

Palate: The palate is so fascinating and is different from most rum. The closest thing I’ve had to this would be Lost Spirits’ Navy Strength rum. It exhibits a lot of burnt charcoal and a slight brine. Vanilla, caramel, cherry, tobacco, and heather are also present throughout this dram.

Unique Product

Balcones Prohibida is a fascinatingly unique product for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t see much American rum and certainly wouldn’t expect it from a whiskey distillery in Texas. And secondly, not only are they using ex-peated single malt barrels (Plantation Stiggins Fancy Smoked rum is another), they’re the ones from their own whiskey!

This unique rum is just one small part of Balcones’ great lineup. If you haven’t tried their Peated Single Malt, you absolutely should. Like their standard, the peated is bottled at cask strength, and if you like Islay Scotch, it’s definitely worth a look!