Texas Bourbons and Other Drink (and Hot Avocado Sauce)

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by purr1n, Aug 13, 2023.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I wanted to post this a while back. My first exposure to Texas Bourbon was a year ago at the Emotiva x Schiit event. At the Doubletree, I ordered a Garrison Brothers bourbon just to try something local (I had the waiter run down the list of bourbons they had). The one below (leftmost) is the regular Garrison Brothers, which was not as good as the one I tried. The one I tried was a special edition cask strength "Cowboy", which is now a year later like a million dollars (not worth that much, I'd pay $150, but not $400).

    texasdrink.jpg

    Anyway, I found Texas Bourbons to be really good, namely stuff from Garrison Brothers, Still Austin, Texas Ranger (not pictured) and Aerodrome. Aerodrome is a local distillery in Corpus Christi TX of all places. CCTX is a dump is so many ways, but it's become "my dump" with a lot of hidden jewels. FWIW, it didn't take more than a day for my daughter to exclaim: I hate California (that is to live there - too many people, too rude) on a recent trip back to our old stomping groups.

    Texas Bourbons do have a flavor of their own. They a rougher, less smooth, and generally less sweet. I wouldn't say peppery like say the FAE-02 second batch of the Maker's Mark Limited Release (the first one was better), but rough. This style of Bourbon reminds me of that scene in The Searchers when Brad asks John Wayne's character Ethan about what the Comanche's did to one of Ethan's nieces. Ethan replies: What've I got to do -- draw you a picture?...Spell it out?...Don't ever ask me!...Long as you live don't ever ask me more!

    No, I don't imagine Remington Steele / Brosnan Bond in a bathrobe sipping the Texas stuff with a cigar.

    Generally from roughest to smoothest goes Garrison Brothers, Texas Ranger, Still Austin. The Still Austin Limited Release (picture above second from left) is very smooth though, as smooth as anything out there outside of the wheated stuff. The Aerodrome (the Bourbons are not pictured) at the high end is very complex and worth the $350 they are asking. The regular Aerodrome stuff reminds me of Booker's, on the sweeter side just short of Booker's. All good stuff.

    To round things out, the Aerodrome Rum on the right side is unique. It's rum aged in a Laphroaig cask. This is one of those freakshow things that I'm into, but the bartender at Aerodrome served me up to try some and I was sold. I was about to buy a bottle for a colleague "Tek Dave" in California because he happens to love Laphroaig and has a huge rum collection, but alas they ran out.

    The Genepi is interesting. It's an obvious european style herbal digestif. Think Jagermeister for adults (Jager is shit). I thought I had tasted something similar in the past and it turns out that it's like a Chartreuse. I believe @jexby and @CEE TEE are fans of these green / yellow concoctions. About ten years ago, @CEE TEE and a few others shared a Pakistani meal with chartreuse at Pakwan in Fremont CA after a headphone meet.
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    What I found interesting is how the Mexican food changes from California, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and South Texas. In South Texas, barbacoa (cheek meet) a big thing and found at practically all breakfast places. There is also the warmed up salsa bowl (no idea what this is called, so someone please enlighten me) that comes with breakfast that we can pour on the omlet, barbacoa, whatever. And finally, there is the avocado hot sauce, which was completely new to me. To be continued...
     
  3. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    indeed, green chartreuse has been a family favorite for three generations. Yellow is also good, yet not as bold and flavorful IMO. Trips to France also exposed me to the wonders of Genepy, a largely French alpine pursuit. What I found most interesting is Genepy is not solely produced by large entities. Many folk in that region of France distill and age their own local, micro batches of Genepy - often with less sugar, and with differing alpine ingredients plucked from the mountain tops, often with tall strands/branches of the herbs remaining in the bottle, something that we don't get in the states.
    I've kept a number of french, "smaller batch" bottles of Genepy long after they are dry just as wonderful artifacts.

    IMO Genepy has gained increased interest in recent years as an alternative to the (imported) scarcity of Chartreuse, and more distillers in USA appear to be catching on, although i can't imagine where some place in texas gets "alpine herbs" of any fresh quality. I've tried at least 2-3 USA Genepy, Dolin being a cheap accessible one, and while good - still appear to be lacking some magic of France. that is, if my euro alcohol memory retention is any better than my audio recall retention. ;)
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Let me know if you have any recommendations for a less sweet Genepy from the Alpine regions which is somewhat accessible. This one is a bit too sweet.
     
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  5. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    What I'd be curious to know is where Knob Creek 9 year single barrel fits into the grand scheme of bourbons, for anyone who's gotten to try it. Got to savour a healthy glass of the stuff a few years ago and it could just be because I don't drink regularly so I can almost name every single drink I've had, but this one's got a special place in my liver.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    it's actually not bad for $40 (taking into account inflation). This is when things start to get serious. I'll drink it, no problem.

    At the same price, but way better than Matthew McConaughey Longdong stuff, which is slightly better Wild Turkey with crap from McConaughey BBQ pit but watered down. I guess McConaughey was trying to be another Ryan Reynolds who made 0.5B after cashing out of Aviation. What McConaughey didn't get was Reynolds TV spots that made Aviation gin.

    Here's the Aviation spoof on the Peloton spot (here the dude is seemingly suggesting that his wife lose weight - this at the tail end of the me-too fad). It's genius.


    The other thing was that Aviation actually went down fairly easily and played down the dominant juniper berry of most proper gins. Great ads introducing people to gin for the first time + A decent gin that is approachable to a larger audience + Deadpool's Charm = Success.
     
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  7. YMO

    YMO Chief Fun Officer

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    I always want to drink more whiskey from Texas. But I’m middle of losing a lot of weight so I’m avoiding it for now.
     
  8. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Never tried but I recall some online folk talking Aviation up (pun inadvertent). Man, that ad is actually brilliant given the context — got a hell of a chuckle out of it, gotta respect market savvy.
     
  9. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Ooh I can play this game!

    Aerodrome--covered. Not covered is their rye, which is super rye, super duper dry super rye crazy rye if you like rye a lot a lot you'll like this rye. A bit rough for me in the end. But definitely a beyond the valley of rye rye.

    Samuel Maverick--in San Antonio. Seems a bit of a gimmick because they are close to Riverwalk (not ON Riverwalk) and they also do beer, and they also have food. But beer and whiskey are solid. Rye is more of the Willet style. Not over the top, clearly rye, with a bit more bite than you expect from a Kentucky rye. The weird one is a triticale, which they made because they were shipped the wrong grain and said "heck with it, what can we do?" This is an oddball because it is very smooth and very non-characteristic of corn or rye. It's closest to a blended scotch, like a Blue Label or something. Very balanced, but also a bit dead. A silky dead. Their beer is decent too, worth a visit if you're in town.

    Milam & Greene--saving the best for last. They're in Blanco, about 30 miles north of San Antonio. They do a range of single-cask and blended bourbons. The blended ones are super solid, well worth considering against any other good/great American bourbon, regardless of state. The single-cask ones have, well, more of a particular bite, and are rougher as you'd expect a Texas whiskey to be. Both the blended and single-cask have become my go-tos here, replacing most of my rye drinking.

    Oh yeah and Justice Label? They specialize in moonshine. And teaching you how to make it. That's another story.

    As with everything, IMO, YMMV.

    I should do something on Texas wines...
     
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  10. MellowVelo

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    This is the thread that we’ve been needing.

    I’m not from Texas, but I really enjoy Balcones. They’re from Waco. One of their distinctions is the generous use of blue corn in their mash bills. The True Blue straight corn whisky is a great drink, with notes of brown sugar, candied nuts, and oak. It has a nice spicy finish. I especially love the cask strength version. It’s like 130 proof, so really strong stuff.

    The Texas Rye is also very good. It’s one of the most aggressive ryes I’ve ever had, with notes of tobacco, leather, and pepper. I really like putting it in an Old Fashioned because it balances out the sweeter, fruitier flavors of the cocktail.
     
  11. YMO

    YMO Chief Fun Officer

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    What are some recommendations on some Texas Whiskey that isn't hard to consume on the rocks or neat? Also would be better if they sell them at Total Wine.
     
  12. MellowVelo

    MellowVelo Friend

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    I drink Balcones neat, and I know that Total Wine has some of their stuff. I understand what Marv and Jason are saying about Texas whiskey being rougher, but I still think that these are highly drinkable on their own.
     
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  13. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE MOT: NITSCH

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    Just because you mentioned Chartreuse....my desert island bottle is:

    Chartreuse V.E.P. (Exceptionally Prolonged Aging)
    Screenshot 2023-08-13 at 1.25.58 PM.png

    Ignore that it comes in it's own coffin. Totally concentrated, less sweet than the regular Green. This is the best. IMO, YMMV. Sip this please. And smell the empty glass the next day.
     
  14. YMO

    YMO Chief Fun Officer

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  15. Tchoupitoulas

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    It's a great bourbon but then I'm generally a big fan of Knob Creek stuff (excepting the maple nonsense). The 9 year is on the sweeter, more caramel-y and vanilla-y side of bourbons. Its 120 proof provides a bit of an edge - a burn in place of the roughness or spice of other bourbons.
     
  16. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Haha, even years later the impression I got of it remains strong. But again I seldom imbibe and am often cheap so I guess anything above mediocre would stand out — it's why I thought to ask people with more expansive palates, haha. Thanks for the info! Gah, tempted to track a bottle down.
     
  17. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    C’est vrai!

    VEP is unreal.
    i used to receive a bottle every year for xmas, but now it’s impossible to find post pandemic.

    CT and i are going to have a long night out with the green one of these days….
     
  18. rfernand

    rfernand Almost "Made"

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    How about Connery?

    [​IMG]

    Funny you felt that way - it does have some of that (maybe a bit more Little Book, a bit more grain flavor here, a bit softer there)
     
  19. gsanger

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    I'd also love some recommendations. Yellow chartreuse is too sweet for me - I vaguely remember having a cocktail or two with it that were fine, but nothing to go wild for. But, I'm a big fan of green chartreuse. I usually do a 50/50 mix with gin and a splash of St. Germain's.

    Looks like I can get Dolin near me, but would love to hear some other recommendations. Might have to ask my wife to pick up a bottle of the Aerodrome next time she's in Texas, too.
     
  20. Joshvar

    Joshvar Almost "Made"

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    Hey I know one (well more than one...but one that I try to promote since they're down the street from me) Treaty Oak Ghost Hill - this is my go-to as a "What does Texas Whiskey do?" because it's the most distinct of the several/many I've had. Has some of the roughness ya'll are talking about, but still some Bourbon sweetness with a bit of bite (a la rye) in the finish along with some notes of cinnamon/clove (without being a flavored whiskey). Their other whiskeys are of declared provenance (Schenley rye from Canada and they've done a couple Kentucky Bourbons finished in their distillery) and the Day Drinker was not to my liking (more rough, less...anything else). I really have enjoyed the Balcones that I've had, but price has crept into "are you serious" territory even though they're quite good. That goes for most "Texas" spirits these days feels about 20-200% too high.

    Treaty Oak's co-located gin distillery Waterloo makes a London dry (No. 9) and old Tom (Old Yaupon) that have distinctive herbal additions without being over-the-top and out of style IMO. I love gin now, an No. 9 was what converted me. Their barrel aged No. 9 (Antique) is really good as a non-whiskey aged liquor for folks who aren't too hot for whiskey overall.
     

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