Guest article by Mathis Kennington
When you think of grain to glass whiskey, what comes to mind? It took me a minute, the first time I let that phrase sink in. It’s less familiar to me than, let’s say, farm to table food. Grain to glass whiskey hints at the same kind of untouched, unmessed with allure our favorite local restaurants offer: raw fruits and vegetables that must only travel a few miles from a local urban farm until they’re in the hands of a discerning chef. Locally and humanely finished beef and pork that didn’t get mixed into a big pile of neon pink mystery meat paste. We Austinites love to know where our food comes from and what our food ate.
It’s strange we don’t demand the same of our spirits.
Enter Andalusia Whiskey Co. This Blanco-based whiskey distillery startup is committed to producing world class whiskeys with integrity.
Delicious Whiskey Close to Austin
Ty Phelps and Tommy Erwin, formerly of Real Ale Brewing Company, literally built a tasting experience from the ground up. Resting conveniently off Highway 281, Andalusia Whiskey is an easy trek for Austinites who want to experience something different, without going too far from the city. The distillery boasts exactly the kind of lounging environment that invites day long sips of deliciously smoked single malt whiskey. But more on that later.
For professionals looking to host events, you don’t lack for space. This two-story distillery was built for entertaining, as well as enjoying locally crafted cocktails. It’s the perfect stop for bachelor and bachelorette parties who want a scenic environment for delicious libations. For the selective whiskey drinker who needs a little space and quiet for her or his whiskey meditations, the back room library allows for all kinds of whiskey kung fu.
It helps that Andalusia Whiskey is just down the street from their old friends at Real Ale. But with the attention Andalusia has recently enjoyed, Real Ale may end up being thankful for its proximity to Andalusia. Just two weeks ago, Andalusia received some love from the Statesman, who recognized their smoked single malt, Stryker, as the area’s top American whiskey. That beats out heavy hitters like Garrison Brothers, famous for their big bourbons.
Expect Big Taste With Three Whiskeys
Andalusia produces three staple whiskeys to enjoy. The Revenant Oak, a peated single malt whiskey, makes you wonder if you hear bagpipes playing far away in the Texas Hill Country. White Pearl, a bold white whiskey that blends well but stands up on its own, reminds me of the old moonshine bootlegging stories my grandfather used to tell me about.
But if you want a truly unique whiskey experience, make sure you finish your flight with a slow sip of the Stryker smoked single malt whiskey, which is unlike any whiskey I’ve experienced. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say Stryker is the perfect combination of classic single malt and Texas attitude. Sweet and sticky with a smoky finish, this whiskey will stay with you all day. It’s a bold mixture of caramel, vanilla and smoked oak.
During my second visit to the distillery, I was greeted by both Erwin and Phelps who were quick to point me to the pile of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolates resting conveniently at the end of the bar leading to the back door where several fires were burning. I’m not sure about you, but a smoked whiskey old fashioned in one hand and a smoked s’more in the other is about as close to paradise as I can get.
Whether you’re looking for a deliciously crafted spirit or a guilty s’more pleasure, don’t miss the chance to take a day trip out of Andalusia Whiskey Co.
6462 N. US Hwy 281, Blanco, TX – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is your favorite local whiskey?
Mathis Kennington is a local couples therapist and Austin enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
Although I’ve read half a dozen stories on this business, Andalusia Whiskey, nobody has said how it got its name! I’m dying to know this! Why? I’m a Spainophile. In other words, I Love Spain.
And one of the regions I love best is ANDALUSIA! It’s the cradle of Flamenco and the annual April Fair in Seville! That said, Please tell me how this Blanco whiskey business got its name!