Texas distilleries aim to compete in whisky industry

The flag of Texas where micro-distillers are trying to compete in the American whisky-making marketAmerican whisky predominantly comes from two states – Kentucky and Tennessee. Kentucky is the home of bourbon whisky. In fact, for a whisky to be called bourbon, it has to be made in the state of Kentucky. There are therefore a lot of distilleries in Kentucky. Tennessee only has a handful, but one of them is the behemoth Jack Daniel’s.
Kentucky and Tennessee dominate the whisky making industry in the US, but other states are working hard to get a foothold. Texas is good example.
Most of the Texas distilleries are small and “boutique” at the moment, but the products they produce are increasingly being recognised. Here are some of the distilleries trying to put Texas on the American whisky-making map:


Balcones Distillery

Balcones Distillery makes Balcones Baby Blue Corn Whisky which is available in the UK. It was the first Texas whisky to go on sale since prohibition. Balcones Distillery also makes three other products:

Rumble – a rum inspired spirit made with honey, mission figs and turbinado (brown) sugar.
Single Malt Whisky – made in small batches in copper pot stills
Peated Single Malt Whisky – as above, but peated.

Balcones Distillery started life during a meeting of a home brewing club. Its founders are Chip Tate and Stephen Germer. They sold their first whisky in September 2009.

Garrison Brothers Distillery

Garrison Brothers Distillery started distilling whisky in January 2008. It is currently made in very small quantities and sells out very quickly. It is not expected to be available in the UK anytime soon which is unfortunate as it sounds like a whisky that would definitely be worth a try.
Garrison Brothers Distillery describes their whisky as “bourbon” as it uses bourbon production methods and ingredients. They say it is “bold”, “proud”, “complex” and “authentic”.
Their first whisky was an unfiltered, ABV 50%, one year called the Pre-Release. They then released the Signature 2008 Vintage, but both these had very limited availability. Garrison Brothers is promising a variety of releases in the future with names like the Panhandle White, Texas Opus and Hye Rye.

Rebecca Creek

Rebecca Creek makes two products - Rebecca Creek Single Malt Whisky and Enchanted Rock Vodka. The vodka is on sale and the whisky is due to be released very soon.
The whisky is the first single malt to be produced in Texas and is made using local malted barley and limestone filtered water. It is made in small batches (understandably given this is a small distillery) and is distilled in a copper pot still before being aged in charred oak barrels.

Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling

Ranger Creek calls itself a “brewdistillery”, i.e. they make beer and whisky. The products are hand-made using local ingredients.
The story of how Ranger Creek started can best be described using the old cliché “only in America”. The founders were in a UFO club and met at a place called The Flying Saucer. The conversation somehow got onto booze and they decided to start brewing and distilling because they liked beer and whisky.
The whisky Ranger Creek is making will not go on sale until late 2011. Expect it to be released in very limited quantities to local markets only. Their main brand will not go on sale until 2012 at the earliest. It is a rye-recipe whisky that is being aged for “at least” two years.
Ranger Creek make four beers: South Texas Lager, Oatmeal Pale Ale, Mesquite Smoked Porter and La Bestia Aimable.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:36


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