texas

These 3 Certified Texas Whiskey labels will make you want to move there

The Texas Whiskey Association (TXWA) bestows the coveted Certified Texas Whiskey status to any whiskey that’s made grain-to-glass in the Longhorn State. There are several Texas Distillers on their membership list, but the three listed here are notable for their unique whiskeys.

Certified Texas Whiskey The Distillery Edition from Milam and Greene
Certified Texas Whiskey The Distillery Edition from Milam and Greene

Milam and Greene’s Certified Texas Whiskey

Milam and Greene embodies the rock and roll spirit of the emerging Texas whiskey scene. Heather Greene is the CEO and Master Blender. Go ahead and Google her and revel in the news stories of how she essentially marched up to the door of the male-dominated Texas whiskey scene and kicked it in like a boss. Which she is. The picture of Greene literally ninja-kicking a whiskey barrel in the Blanco, TX warehouse of Milam and Greene ought to be the poster for Certified Texas Whiskey.

Milam & Greene qualified for their certification with their 2020 inaugural Distillery Edition, their grain-to-glass Bourbon and their first certified Texas whiskey. The Distillery Edition is a limited run (meaning you’re probably not going to get any) made from 70% corn, 22% rye, and 8% malted barley. Only seven barrels were produced. With their obsessive attention to aging, no-chill filtering, and hand bottling, this scrappy Texas native ought to have a special place on any collector’s shelf. The Distillery Edition is 60.9% ABV and 121.9 proof.

Tasting notes

 
MILAM & GREENE

Distillery Edition Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Nose: Nuts and baking spices opening to soft vanillas and chocolates.

Palate: Sweet and smooth, yet with some pepper and spice from the malted rye.
Finish: Luscious, rich, lingering.

How to get your mitts on a Milam and Green Distillery Edition

Good luck. This bottle sold out online almost immediately. I called my favorite stores in Chicago and got bupkus. You can use their online store finder, but honestly, it’s probably better to haunt their website for the next one. However, if you’re anywhere near Blanco, TX, you can just click the little green button below and All American Whiskey will guide you in.

The distillery where they make Brujeria in Waco, Texas

Balcone’s Brujeria Certified Texas Whiskey is Pure Witchcraft

This single malt whiskey is made from the legendary Golden Promise barley, then finished first in virgin American oak barrels, then in Oloroso and OX Sherry casks. The name translates to witchcraft, and if you look in the description below, there’s some weirdo magical hoo-ha going down. Old furniture? Strike anywhere match? It reads like a lost Dr. John song.

Balcone’s started making whiskey in 2009 in an old welding shop under a bridge in Waco, TX. They are a grain-to-glass distillery, sourcing their ingredients almost entirely in Texas. But not their stills. Their obsession with raw materials is married to their obsession with great equipment: Forsyth stills from Scotland. Forsyth makes stills for some of the greatest whiskey labels on earth—from Woodford Reserve to Glenlivette, to Suntory. Using Forsyth stills means Balcone’s whiskeys go through the same alchemical journey as the greats.

Tasting Notes

Balcone's Brujeria
BALCONES

Brujeria

 

Nose: Date syrup, wine cellar, old furniture, smoked walnut, bacon-wrapped fig, strike-anywhere match
Palate: Black bean paste, minced meat pie, shitake, pecan pie filling, lapsang souchong
Finish: Sweet and rich, medium finish fades to white pepper and black tea

How to get a bottle of Certified Texas Whiskey: Brujeria

Hire a witch? Cause you’re probably not going to find one for less then 18 Kajillion bucks. Try it. Go online anywhere and click on this rare spirit and watch as the words CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE roll onto your screen. So why am I writing about this whiskey you can’t buy? Because Balcone’s keeps making more limited release Certified Texas Whiskey, and you need to cast a spell of paying attention to make sure you know when the next one hits. Or click the button (if you’re anywhere near Waco) and drive there and pound on their doors and demand your bottle of Witchcraft.

Tahwahkaro’s Four Grain Whiskey

Tahwahkaro Four Grain Whiskey is Seriously Texan

I saw the name of this whiskey and thought it might stand for Texas As Hell. It doesn’t, but maybe it should. Tah Whiskey is in your face grain-to-glass. They use Texas-grown rye, wheat, barley, and corn. They use locally sourced water to make the mash, then they age it for just barely over a year in American oak barrels, so it’s made in the Bourbon process and is technically a bourbon but not old enough to be straight bourbon.

Apparently, the manic swings in local temperature in Grapevine, TX make for some ass-kicking maturation and aging for barreled whiskey. The tasting notes vary from reviewer to reviewer, but one aspect seems to be constant and that is the corn-forward aroma of the whiskey and the subsequent highly complex melange of flavors on the tongue, from s’mores to buttered toast and smoke.

How to wrap your claws around Four Grain Tahwahkaro Whiskey

Unlike the other whiskeys listed here, you can probably get a bottle of Tah at your local upscale liquor store. I mean, I couldn’t, but maybe you can. If not . . . well, you know what to do. Hit the button if you’re anywhere near Dallas or Grapevine, Texas.

Author: Bull Garlington
Bull Garlington is an author and columnist in Chicago who writes about the madness of travel, analog tools, food, wine, and whiskey. Garlington lives with [his attorney], smokes black cavendish, hikes the easy trails, and makes a mean gumbo yaya.