Texas and Its Whiskey

Texas and Its Whiskey

Yesterday, Dec 29th 1845, Texas became the 28th state in the union. Texan citizens have always been fiercely loyal to their state and to the products produced there. There are now about 25 different distilleries producing whiskey in Texas. Though Texans are promoting these products, their popularity throughout the country has put Texas distilleries at the forefront of the American whiskey industry. Here is a list of their distilleries to date (research by Sku’s Recent Eats blog) 1. Alamo Premium Distillery, San Antonio, TX. This distillery makes Texas Moonshine Corn Whiskey and is working on Texas Craft Whiskey.2. Balcones Distillery , Waco, TX. This distillery released the first run of their Baby Blue blue corn whiskey in September 2009. They also make Brimstone...

John Hall’s Forty Creek

John Hall’s Forty Creek

I have found that many of the new distillers in America have come to distilling from breweries and beer production. It’s a logical step, as “beer” must be brewed before whisky can be distilled from it. (I’ve always liked the saying, “Whisky is what beer wants to be when it grows up…”) Some distillers come to whisky with wine expertise as well. Why make cognac when you can make whisky, right? One such wine producer in Canada that has made the transition to whisky production is John Hall of Forty Creek Distillery. The international community is paying more attention to Canadian whisky largely because of Mr. Hall’s contributions to craft production. John Hall started making wine in the 1970’s and purchased Kittling Ridge Estates Winery in Grimsby, Ontario in...

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

So the news is out that Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye was named the 2016 World Whisky of the Year by renowned whiskey writer Jim Murray. This news will most definitely affect sales for Crown Royal, but it may affect a bit more. Rye whiskey is making a comeback all over North America! Let’s be clear that the term “rye” does not carry the same definition in Canada as it does in the U.S. We know rye whiskey, here in America, to mean that at least 51% of the mashbill is made of rye grains. Original styles of rye whiskey grew out of Pennsylvania and Maryland and were crafted based upon which surplus grains farmers from those regions accumulated after their harvests. In Canada, the original style of whiskey produced there was made of wheat. Early in Canada’s...

Mash Bills in America

Did you know that mash bills are really only used in American whiskey production? American distilleries refer to the proportions of grains used as their “mash bill”. There are quite a few distinct styles of traditional American Whiskeys. Pennsylvania style ryes traditionally carry over 80% rye in their mash bills. Traditional Maryland style ryes are closer to 60% rye, balancing the mash bill with corn and a small amount of malted barley. (George Washington’s original rye whiskey from Mt. Vernon was 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley.) Bourbon, called “America’a spirit”, is at least 51% corn and is flavored with either rye or wheat grains and a small amount of malted barley. Corn whiskey is at least 80% corn, usually more. These traditional mash bills grew...

Can We All Stop Talking Trash About Canadian Whisky Now?

Can we all stop talking trash about Canadian whisky now? 70% of Canadian whisky is shipped to the United States for sale. About 90% of the “good stuff” produced in Canada never leaves Canada. So what then? Seems we Americans are left with the short end of the stick, eh? We hold a grudge against Canada for some reason. Too many 7&7s were served in the 80’s and too many of our fathers (or grandfathers) drank Canadian Club in the 60’s, I guess (I’m talking to you, Don Draper!). The fact is that a lot of Americans don’t even know that they love a Canadian whiskey! Texas is the largest market for Crown Royal. (I actually have a Texas Ranger in my family that refuses to drink anything except Crown and Coke. I don’t have the heart to tell him…)...