Sneak Peek Inside Houston’s First Legal Whiskey Distillery
I Enjoyed a private tasting and behind the scenes “sneak peek” tour of Houston’s first LEGAL whiskey distillery, Yellow Rose Distilling. Following the Texas launch of Yellow Rose in 2012, Houston has been buzzing with excitement. I was excited to be offered some passes to see what it was all about and share it with you!
The distillery is super small. There is a bar and open area for sales and events setup in the front, and in the back of the warehouse is where the barrels reside and bottling occurs.
During the tour we learned about the barreling and aging process of the whiskey — how it’s made.
It was a very interesting process where “sweet corn” is mashed with barley, then fermented for several days to let the sugar turn to alcohol. Distilled Whiskey is then barreled & aged using charred American oak barrels which lends to Yellow Rose’s unique flavors.
We tasted several of their whiskeys as well as some mixed drinks that could be made using the whiskey/bourbon: The Apple Smash, The Moscow Mule and The Whiskey Sour. All were amazingly smooth! The Mule was my favorite.
The final 2 stages aren’t really a part of the whiskey making process per say but are still cool. Yellow Rose brands, labels and bottles their whiskey in house, sometimes by hand. The last step of the process is the bottling where the barrels are emptied and whiskey is proofed down and ready to be savored.
Moscow Mule and Apple Smash
Yellow Rose currently has 4 Whiskey/Bourbon varieties: Blended Whiskey, Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey, Straight Rye Whiskey and Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey. The all taste great. The blended whiskey happened to be my pick of the four. It was slightly sweet and went down easy!
A close second was the Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey. Made of 100% corn, it had some sweetness to it as well but had more oak and caramel notes than the others. Still great though.
From left to right: Blended Whiskey, Double Barrel, Straight Rye, Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey and Howdy Stranger Vodka
Yellow Rose is currently making its way all over the country with retailers in Texas, Michigan, Washington D.C., Wisconsin, Arkansas, Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland and Tennessee. Keep an eye out for the yellow blossom!