Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey Review
Owners Steve Ison and Mike Cameron modeled Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey after the well-beloved, in Texas, Crown Royal. They take an 8-year-old sourced bourbon which they mix with some of their neutral grain spirit and whiskey. They then lower to 28 degrees to frost filter out the fats before resting in full-sized barrels. Theres no specification on new or used barrels, but Im guessing used.
Watching their how we do it video it struck me as interesting that they use both malted barley and added enzymes for the starch to sugar conversion. I also found it interesting they add other nutrients to the mash to conduct a healthy fermentation which runs for 5-10 days. Thats not something Ive seen or read about other distillers doing. Or maybe they are and just not talking about it but thats only for the stuff they fully distill. This is a mix of distilled and sourced on to the review.
Some Of Americas Best Bourbon Whiskey Is Coming Out Of Texas
Looking for the most exciting whiskey state outside of Kentucky?
Looking for the most exciting whiskey state outside of Kentucky? Try Texas. For years, their single malts have been marked as world-class, and at the recent Texas Bourbon Shootout in Longview, Texas, world whiskey reviewer and author of the Whiskey Bible Jim Murray called several Texas bourbons among the best whiskeys not just in Texas, but in the world.
More than their Kentucky cousins, Texas bourbons feature bold, dark flavors like cinnamon, black cherry and licorice, tied together by big, oaky tannins. Bourbon gets the majority of its flavor by aging in barrels, and in Texas, where weather fluctuates more than in Kentucky, those charred-oak casks tend to pump more flavor in a shorter amount of time into their liquid bounties. Here are some of the standouts from the inaugural Texas Bourbon Shootout.
Treaty Oak Ghost Hill
In 2016, Treaty Oak moved from Austin to nearby Dripping Springs, Texas, on a beautiful 28-acre property. Its Ghost Hill is a two-year-old wheated bourbon, made using Texas heirloom grains.
Tasting Notes: Its nose of caramel also has hints of cinnamonforeshadowing. On the tongue it has tannins up front, with spiciness and a citrus finish. Its one spicy son of a gun, according to Murray.
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The 10 Best Bourbon Whiskeys From Texas
Obviously, since the spirit category shares its name with Bourbon County, Kentucky and bourbon whiskey go hand in hand. However, this distinctly American style of liquor does not hail exclusively from that region. In fact, some of the best bourbons available dont even come from within the state of Kentucky. As many folks know, especially with the worldwide popularity of Jack Daniels, Tennessee is also a locale rife with superb bourbon. But it doesnt stop there head out to Utah and youll find High West, an award-winning distillery that you can ski up to if the conditions are right. There are even distillers in Alaska crafting the stuff from local ingredients.
But if youre looking for a bourbon whiskey thats imbued with the outlaw spirit and unapologetic boldness, theres plenty to be had in the great state of Texas. The largest contiguous state in the U.S.A, this western wonderland is home to some truly fantastic offerings from the shores of Galveston all the way to El Paso. Of course, if you cant head out there yourself, you can always consult our list of the 10 best bourbon whiskeys from Texas.
Treaty Oak Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon Whiskey
Named after Treaty Oaks home, a 28-acre ranch in Dripping Springs, Ghost Hill Bourbon is one of the most interesting takes on the Texas style of bourbon, as they actually sourced the grain for the mash from Barton Springs Mill just a stones throw from the distillery. Containing a mash bill of corn, wheat, and barley and aged two years under the Texas sun in new American White Oak Char 3 Barrels, this spirit embodies The Lone Star States energy perhaps more than most others. In fact, even their limestone-filtered water is sourced from the land on which they call home. The culmination of years of experimentation, Treaty Oak should be extremely proud of this craft bourbon.
Age: 2 Years
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Ben Milam Straight Bourbon Whiskey
You have to love a whiskey that comes with its own toast, like Ben Milams Straight Bourbon Whiskey, especially when its as catchy as, To the bold, the true, the gallant. Of course, a clever slogan doesnt mean much if the spirit itself doesnt back things up. Thankfully, thats the last worry you should have about this award-winning, small-batch bourbon. Hand-selected and tasted by an elite, expert group, this magnificently smooth and complex spirit makes for some excellent whiskey cocktails but you might want to just sip it straight or on the rocks. And if you want to try it out in the company of the folks responsible for crafting it, you can check out the brands tasting room in Blanco, Texas.
Texas Whiskey: Nice And Neat
It used to be that you could look at a steer and tell where it came from by one look at the brand on its hide. But as more and more cowboys started to raise stock, the brands became as convoluted as the stock themselves. At the end of the day, the only thing that mattered to the consumer was if the stock produced a damn good steak to go with a potato and an after-dinner sip of whiskey that brought a long-awaited end to a hard days work.
walk down the whiskey aisle of any decent spirits retailer in Texas these days will find a sizeable selection of Texas-labeled whiskeys. The craft distilling wave that has swept the country since around the year 2000 has taken Texas by storm as well, and the accompanying popularity of whiskeys has paralleled the growth in distilleries. Due to more restrictive prior laws and regulations, Texas is a relative newcomer to the craft spirits movement.
But as Texas does with everything seemingly, it went big quickly with distillers. There are over 100 active distilling licenses in Texas as of this writing, with more every week. And nearly half of them make whiskey. In larger stores, there are literally dozens of Texas branded whiskeys to choose from. All claim Texas origin and some level of craft distilling pedigree. But not all whiskeys with a Texas brand were distilled by the people who bottled it or in the state of Texas.
Distillery: Old Humble Distilling, HumblePrice: $45+ Where to Buy: Houston area,some distributioin
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Firestone & Robertson Tx Straight Bourbon
While all the offerings on our list hail from the great state of Texas, this Firestone & Robertson bourbon might be the most Texan of them all. And theres a very good and specific reason for this: the yeast they use in its creation is actually a proprietary strain that the distillery owns made from locally-sourced Texas pecans. On top of that, its also made with a mash crafted from yellow dent corn and soft red winter wheat which are both also sourced from Texas. The recipe also includes wheat, rather than barley, making this a wheated bourbon. As unique as the land from which it hails, this is a must-try for any whiskey fans interested in what Texas has to offer.
Age: 4+ Years
Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon
Even for die-hard enthusiasts, $250 is a lot to ask for a bottle of bourbon. But if any deserve that high price tag, its the Cowboy Bourbon from Garrison Brothers. Completely uncut and unfiltered, this is whiskey in its purest cask-strength form and is specially selected by the Garrison Brothers Dan and Donnis themselves before being set aside for an extra couple years of maturation. This is about as close to liquid gold as Texas whiskeys get. And if thats not enough to convince you of how special it is, maybe this will: Cowboy Bourbon was selected as the American Whiskey of the Year in Jim Murrays Whisky Bible twice. Its a high price, but thats what you have to pay for perfection.
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Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey Tasting Notes
NOSE Honey graham crackers, vanilla frosting, caramel, maple syrup and a touch of pears and hazelnut coffee syrup.
PALATE Perfect mimic of the aroma with some added, metallic, artificial butterscotch flavor.
FINISH Short -> Maple, root beer and vanilla frosting.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL Not balanced, thin body and a watery feel.
Ironroot Harbinger Bourbon Whiskey
Truth be told, its pretty difficult to choose from Ironroots offerings, as theyre all stupendous and several of them have won multiple awards. But were pretty happy with this six-time gold winner, their Harbinger Bourbon whiskey. After all, it is their flagship offering for a reason. This non-chill filtered whiskey is made from an exotic mash bill of 4 heirloom corn stocks and rye, resulting in a complex spirit thats sweet at the outset with fruity notes of pear and vanilla and spicy on the tail end with just a hint of caramel. At over 100-proof, its not for the faint of heart. But those who can appreciate a unique bourbon with a bit of a kick will be rewarded in turn.
Age: 2+ Years
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For Veterans Distilling Is A New Way To Serve
November 6, 2017 | Lizz Schumer
Whiskey distillers come from all walks of life, including the armed services. And for many veterans, making whiskey isnt just a passionits a way to use skills gained during their service, to employ their brothers and sisters in arms, and to give back to their communities. Transitioning veterans need a good support system, especially if they are battling disability or PTSD, explains Jason Justice, founder of Justice Label Distillery in Sinton, Texas.
A PTSD sufferer himself, Justice understands the importance of such support. He currently employs three veterans part-time. I have had success placing these individuals into roles that they can learn from and develop skills to succeed, he says. Giving them direction and a challenge is as rewarding to them as it is for me. For Justice, both distilling and military service run in the family. His father is a retired Army First Sergeant and his grandfather Papawwho once made moonshineretired from the Navy after serving in four branches of the military: Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.
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Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey Review: Details And Tasting Notes
In Rebecca Creeks Words: Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey
Texas Ranger Whiskey is carefully crafted and blended in the Texas Hill Country at Rebecca Creek Distillery. We combine a blend of different whiskeys with pure limestone filtered Edwards Aquifer water. Our proprietary blend reflects the integrity, precision, and uniquely bold character that is the legend and mystique of the Texas Ranger name. With enticing hints of vanilla, caramel, and toasted nuts, this incredibly light, smooth, Texas blend is truly Legendary!
Four Craft Whiskey Distilleries Run By Veterans
Justice Label DistillingSinton, TexasJustice has been interested in the family business ever since his grandfather first shared his stories of bootlegging. My grandfather was a moonshiner on and off from 1937 to 1955 he enlisted in the Army, Justice explains. He didnt practice moonshining anymore after Vietnam, but he passed much of the knowledge to me through stories meeting the friends and family that were all part of this real cultural period of Americana.
Justice Label opened in June 2015. Justicewho was awarded a Bronze Star Medal in Iraq in 2010-11still serves in the Army as a Logistics Officer in an Individual Mobilization Augmentee program under the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and his wife is currently deployed as an Army Civil Affairs Officer.
The Three Rivers tasting room is still being built out and will open soon. The distillery makes bourbon, rum, gin, vodka, and corn whiskey, which are currently distributed in Indiana and Kentucky.
Gorget DistillingLugoff, South CarolinaGorget Distillings name has ties to both South Carolina and combat history. A gorget is a piece of armor worn around the throat in battle, and it also adorns the South Carolina flag. Hugh Thomas, an Air Force veteran, and Richard Butler, an Army veteran, founded Gorget in 2015, along with Nicole Thomas.
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Yellow Rose Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey
While you might expect something called Outlaw Bourbon to exist on the fringes of society, crafted in a still in a shack out in the badlands, this spirit was actually made in the heart of Houston one of the largest cities in the United States. Still, the gunslinging spirit of its name is still well intact, as this offering definitely doesnt adhere to tradition. Its made from a mash of locally-sourced Texas yellow corn, aged in small American oak barrels, and isnt even protected from Houstons frequent temperature swings imparting characteristics youll not find anywhere else. Try one sip and youll see this is a singular inebriate worth trying again and again.
Rebecca Creek Distillery Adds Texas Ranger Whiskey To Their Line
San Antonio-based Rebecca Creek Distillery is one of the largest craft distilleries in North America. Other successful launches include that of Enchanted Rock Vodka in 2010 and Rebecca Creek Fine Texas Spirit Whiskey in 2011. Now the much-anticipated Texas Ranger Whiskey takes its place on the shelf. Texas Ranger is now available for sale throughout Texas at a suggested retail price of $23.99-$25.99.
A recent press release stated, Texas Ranger Whiskey was named for the legendary law support organization established by Stephen F. Austin in 1823. It is carefully batch crafted in the Texas Hill Country from a selection of unique whiskeys, bourbons and pure limestone-filtered water from the famed Edwards Aquifer. Then it is matured in charred American white oak barrels.
The result has hints vanilla bean, caramel and toasted nuts. The new 80-proof blended whiskey touts bold flavor and smooth finish.
The press release goes on to say, Consumer research supported Rebecca Creek Distillery owners desire to develop a locally made blended whiskey with artisan-level quality at a more competitive price point. The result was a product with a simple flavor spectrum that appeals to many palates, and can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in mixed drinks.
Texas RangerWhiskey has become the distillerys first entry-level blended whiskey offering.
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Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey Review: Overall
When I was a kid, and my mom had some extra frosting from making cookies or a cake or something, she would take a honey graham cracker, break it in two and put some frosting between the two halves. From the aroma to the finish the Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey reminds me of eating those intensely sweet treats as a kid. If it werent for the maple and the metallic butterscotch, and it being an alcoholic liquid, Id think I was 7 again, living in UT and just finished eating one.
Instead, Im sitting on my balcony in Los Angeles, CA writing about whiskey and realizing I havent thought of those treats in about 30 years. And while its a pleasant memory its not an overly pleasant experience when it comes to whiskey. In short Im not a fan. Its watery, thin and the lightly flavored whiskey is darn near one cloying note. Not my jam, but neither is the Crown Royal they modeled the profile after. So theres that.
*Disclosure: This Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey bottle was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey Review
Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey Review Summary
Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey is good for an American Blended whiskey, but thats not saying much.
A Story Worth Telling
No visit to San Antonio is complete without a pilgrimage to the iconic Alamo. Just steps away on the original family homestead, stop by to experience native son Kenneth Mavericks endeavor, Maverick Whiskey, a nod the Maverick familys storied Texas roots and patriarch Sam Maverick whom all other mavericks are named.
With all spirits distilled on site, history seeps from the barrels to the vault of this restored historic bank building. Order a whiskey neat or pursue the culinary infused drink menuwhiskey watermelon al fresco anyone? Reserve your barstool today.
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Ranger Creek 36 Texas Straight Bourbon
Another multiple award-winning distillery from Texas, Ranger Creek is headquartered out of San Antonio. And their flagship offering, the .36 Texas Straight Bourbon is a brilliantly bold representation of everything they are. Originally conceived and created by the brands Co-Founder and Head Distiller emeritus, TJ Miller, this whiskey strictly follows the brands grain-to-glass philosophy meaning they source their corn from local farms in Texas. As good as it is in cocktails as it is on the rocks, this complex straight bourbon boasts notes of caramel, butterscotch, and cinnamon and has a nose of vanilla and brown sugar. And, despite the fact that it has won multiple awards at the American Craft Spirits competition, its still plenty affordable.
Age: 3+ Years