Texas is the land of plenty: plenty of space, plenty of proud people and, now, plenty of whiskey. The hot Texas air does magical things with the amber liquid that isn’t seen in whiskeys from other regions, and Texans are taking full advantage. Because, after all, everything is bigger in Texas—and its robust spirits are no exception.
Temptress Single Malt
Herman Marshall: North Texas duo Herman Beckley and Marshall Louis opened this Dallas County distillery nearly a decade ago. They began crafting oak-barreled whiskeys made with the best raw materials they could find back in 2008, and they’ve since garnered multiple awards and fans throughout the state. Don’t miss their Temptress Single Malt—a unique whiskey infused with Temptress Milk Stout from a nearby brewery—which remains an office favorite.
Balcones Distilling: This quintessential Texas distillery has seen some tumult, but has been putting out a great product ever since it opened in 2008. With more than 200 awards earned for its spirits, Balcones is an in-demand, nationally known brand in whiskey haunts from Dallas to New York City. Balcones’ ever-popular Baby Blue, made from roasted heirloom blue corn, is part of its core line. The distillery’s creative bottles and limited releases are worth looking out for.
Small Caliber .44 Rye
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling:This South Texas distillery is coupled with a brewery, giving it a range of products to keep us on our toes. Brilliantly, this distillery offers most of its spirits in a 375-milliliter bottle, giving the consumer the chance to try more products without the steep investment of a full bottle. Keep an eye out for the Small Caliber .44 Rye, one of Ranger Creek’s truly unique expressions.
Kooper Family Rye
Kooper Family Whiskey Co.: Located near Austin in Dripping Springs, this family-owned distillery appeared on the local scene in 2015 with its Kooper Family Rye. It has since gained popularity, thanks to its delightful expression that’s billed as the only rye coming from central Texas. While it’s sourced, Kooper hopes to open a full distillery in the coming years. Until then, we’re happy enough with the unique spirit to wait it out.
Texas Straight Burbon
Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.: Another North Texas twosome, Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, bonded over a love of whiskey and decided to turn their passion into their profession, forming Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. The company started out with its slightly sweet TX Blended Whiskey, but its latest debut is F&R’s Texas Straight Bourbon, a beautifully made liquid that garnered such high demand that it was nearly impossible to get for months after its release. The distillery also found a new home at Whiskey Ranch: the largest whiskey distillery west of the Mississippi River, nestled on a 112-acre ranch on a former golf course near downtown Fort Worth.