Growing up in bourbon country, Eastern Kentucky, is like growing up anywhere else in the world. When you hit 13 or so you start scheming a way to crack into the parents liquor cabinet and see what all the fuss is about.

We’ll never forget the first time we got drunk. It was around the eighth grade era and we were playing club soccer for a local outfit called The Battling Buckaroos. Saturday morning dawns over the big mountain our farm is perched on the side of and we creep into the hallway where the liquor cabinet is and stealthily heist a bottle of daddy’s bourbon.

We carefully pour off a few fingers into a Tupperware container and stick it in our gym bag. Mom drops us off at Saint Camillus’ soccer field and we gather up our best friend Jimmy Ray and head to the nearby woods where we guzzle the bourbon.

Hacking up a fit and breathing fire we break out the Bubblelicious to mask our adolescent whisky breath and get ready to take the field.

After invoking Bruce Lee, the patron of self defense [something we did each time we played] the game begins.


Limbered up by the liquor we feel like all stars. The match is lost to the sands of time but we’ve been big booze hounds ever since.

Texas is not exactly known for bourbon but that’s set to change with a handful of distilleries tackling what has been Kentucky’s birthright for a coon’s age.

The oldest, est. 2006, is Garrison Brothers out in Hye, Texas near Johnson City. This young upstart is already starting to make some noise nationwide winning a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits competition earlier this year. The company competed against dozens of other distilleries in the small batch part of the competition.

This is another time we where we wish we were high rollers as $78 for a bottle of Texas bourbon is beyond the pale. We’ll stick with Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select from Kentucky for half that unless we have an unexpected windfall.

While Garrison Brothers is the kingpin of Texas whisky distillers there are others nipping at their heels.

Rebecca Creek down in San Antonio has Rebecca Creek Fine Texas Whiskey. It was set to make store shelves in August of this year.

More info available here

Then there’s Balcones Distillery up in Waco of all places. They claim that their Baby Blue Whisky is the first Texas whisky available since prohibition. We like the fact that it’s made from New Mexico Hopi blue corn.

That just sounds delicious.

Here’s a good round up of Texas distilleries courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine.

We’re going to adjourn to our corner bar now for a tumbler of Bulleit on the rocks. All in the spirit of celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month mind you.

Here’s a nice companion piece by David Alan over at the Tipsy Texan

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