Must-Try Texas Whiskey

Texas: home of the Alamo, Willie Nelson, and Friday night football. But the Lone Star State is also home to some great whiskeys. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
Mar 02, 2019
  • 9
    9 Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon
    84
    Spicy & Smoky
    The “first and oldest legal whiskey distillery” in the state of Texas prides itself on producing a unique wheated-bourbon using locally sourced, organic ingredients (some they grow themselves). The exception to this is the barley that hails from the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Aged 3 years in full-sized barrels, this is a small batch, straight bourbon.
  • 8
    8 TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    84
    Vanilla & Sweet
    Founded by Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, Firestone and Robertson Distilling Company is located in a renovated prohibition-era warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas. TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with Texas yellow dent corn, red winter wheat, malt, and yeast from a Texas pecan. This wheated bourbon is aged for four years in charred oak barrels and bottled at 47% ABV.
  • 7
    7 Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey
    85
    Fruity & Sweet
    This is the first product from the Swift Distillery in Dripping Springs, Texas. This central Texas single malt is produced using 100% Scottish two-row malted barley and is mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled on site. It is double-distilled in copper pot-stills and ages initially in lightly charred ex-Kentucky bourbon barrels. The whiskey is then transferred to ex-oloroso sherry butts to finish aging before bottling.
  • 6
    6 Ranger Creek .36 Texas Bourbon
    87
    Spicy & Sweet
    Ranger Creek has a Small Caliber Series to differentiate the whiskeys they are aging in small barrels from the ones they age in standard 53-gallon barrels. The .36 Bourbon uses the former and therefore also sees a shorter time in barrel at only 9 months. Their straight bourbon whiskey, using the same mashbill as this whiskey, will be released at the beginning of 2015. Released in small batches so flavors may vary it is hand-numbered and sold in 375 ml sized bottles.
  • 5
    5 Ranger Creek Rimfire Mesquite Smoked Texas Single Malt
    85
    Spicy & Smoky
    Rimfire is a whiskey styled after peated Scottish single malt, but instead of peat smoke for the barley, Ranger Creek uses Texas mesquite wood. The mashbill used is actually Ranger Creek's Mesquite Smoked Porter beer, sans the hops, which is made from five different barley varietals. Rimfire is aged for 6 months in new, small American oak barrels. All whiskeys from their Small Caliber series are bottled in 375 ml sized bottles.
  • 4
    4 Yellow Rose Outlaw Bourbon
    87
    Spicy & Rich
    The Yellow Rose is surprisingly NOT the state flower of Texas--the bluebonnet holds that honor--but the yellow rose is linked to a folk song written shortly after the Battle of San Jacinto (today's Harris County) which helped to end the Texas Revolution in 1836. This Texan bourbon is produced in Houston's first legal distillery (also located in Harris County) from 100% corn sourced from the Texas panhandle.
  • 3
    3 Balcones Brimstone
    90
    Rich & Smoky
    Brimstone is a smoked corn whiskey. But it doesn't get its smoke from the barrel or from peat, it gets its smoky flavor from Texas scrub oak which is used to smoke the distillate prior to aging. This is a 100% Hopi blue corn whiskey made from mash-to-bottle at the Balcones Distillery in Waco, Texas.
  • 2
    2 Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon Barrel Proof (2018 Release)
    92
    Full Bodied & Vanilla
    The highly anticipated 2018 edition of Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon is comprised of 182 barrels. Dubbed "piggy bank barrels" by master distiller Dennis Todd for their choice characteristics, they were matured for approximately five years and then dumped at the end of 2017 to rest and marry together. The result is an approximately 134-proof cask strength release with a total batch size of 4,725 bottles.
  • 1
    1 Balcones Texas Single Malt
    92
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Balcones is known for its maverick whisky approach - playing with mash bills and wood finishes, using techniques unheard of 'til now. Balcones Single Malt is a Texas version of Scotch single malt whisky, made with unpeated 100% malted barley. That's nothing new. What distinguishes it from others is the aging process - combining small batches of the whisky aged in different sized barrels before blending them together to finish maturation in one big barrel. It's also non chill-filtered.