In the next few months, the pristine, high-production distillery at Whiskey Ranch will begin producing TX Whiskey and Bourbon. On a recent chilly weekend, I stopped by to see the expanding operation. A sign guided me toward the Ranch House, where friendly staffers greeted me. In the Tavern, distiller and bartender Drew Lott served me a Cranberry Mule (ginger beer, cranberry juice, TX blended whiskey and a cranberry garnish). The smooth and slightly tart spritzer went down all-too-easy. The gorgeous bar area is both rustic and pristine with stacked whiskey barrels forming a backdrop. Whether planning events or just looking for an authentic whiskey/bourbon drinking experience, this Fort Worth ranch offers a unique experience.
Downtown Fort Worth is home to a cozy distillery where you can order an espresso or chorizo flatbread pizza along with small-batch bourbon, rum, gin, vodka and whiskey. Acre Distillery head distiller JB Flowers and former Rahr & Sons Brewing Company investor Tony Formby recently teamed up for the newish venture. Morning, afternoon or evening, this is a great place to bring a laptop or top off an evening out. The gin (one of my favorites) has a welcome bouquet of juniper notes—the perfect base for a gin and tonic. Acre Distillery always seems to be cooking up something new. I recently imbibed Cinnamon Girl, a 90 proof whiskey infused with generous portions of the popular spice.
Just southeast of downtown Fort Worth is a distillery that has expanded Texas’ claim to whiskey famedom. In addition to making premium whiskey and vodka, Trinity River Distillery puts on fun and informative tours. On a recent visit, I sipped an Old Fashioned at the bar before a staffer named Eric took myself and a dozen others through the facility. Trinity River Distillery, as I found out, uses purified Texas rainwater for its operations. We got a sneak peak at a barrel aging program that will produce bourbon later this year. The tour ended with a tasting of the distillery’s offerings, including a fiery rye whiskey and silky smooth honey-flavored whiskey.
Lewisville-based Witherspoon Distillery offers tours and live music on weekends. Last summer, I visited the spacious barrel-aging facility and bar where owner and Lewisville native, Quentin Witherspoon gave me a tour. The Texas climate, he said, offers the perfect blend of hot and cold for aging bourbon and whiskey. A large, open-air room in the middle of the facility holds dozens of oak barrels. His single malt whiskey garnered international acclaim after winning silver at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits competition. The business now offers a silky smooth bourbon whiskey, feisty White Dog (125 proof), rich bourbon cream and much more.
On select Saturdays, you can tour the Herman Marshall distillery just north of Dallas where co-founder Herman Beckley leads informative tours. The free event begins with tastings of Herman Marshall’s highly-sought products, including bourbon, whiskey, rye whiskey and even a beer-flavored whiskey. The distillery’s bourbon won silver at the 2013 American Distilling Institute’s annual spirits competition. Follow Herman Marshall’s Facebook page for tour details.