American Bourbon By Nino Marchetti / March 11, 2020 Editor’s Note: For the third year running I was a judge at the annual Texas Whiskey Festival, an event designed to showcase the best in Texas whiskey, be it distilled in state or brought in from somewhere else and bottled there. Festival officials were kind enough to cover my lodging costs – what follows is a description of the winners from festival co-founder Jake Clements.Saturday, March 7th we held the 3rd Annual Texas Whiskey Festival. It was an incredible night of music, food, whiskey, and fellowship!Before the festival, three judges from various backgrounds in whiskey rated 42 whiskeys. The competition is a blind judging. The judges assess each whiskey based on smell, taste, and finish on a scale of 100.The judges include the founder of the Whiskey Wash, GM of Seven Grand Austin and the Bar Manager of the Jack Allen’s restaurants.Our requirement is that all the whiskey entered in the competition is available to the general public. We want people to have the ability to buy these fantastic whiskeys.Here are the best Texas Whiskeys of 2020!Getting ready to judge Texas whiskey (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)Grain to Glass BourbonGarrison Brothers 2020 Small Batch BourbonIronroot Republic HarbingerTreaty Oak Ghost Hill BourbonBottled in Texas BourbonKooper Family Whiskey Sweetheart of the RodeoMilam & Greene Triple Cask BourbonIron Wolf Ranch and Distillery Select BourbonGrain to Glass RyeTahwahkaro Malted RyeBalcones Texas Rye 100Ranger Creek .44 RyeBottled in Texas RyeKooper Family Whiskey RyeTreaty Oak Red Handed RyeMilam & Greened Rye Finished in Port CasksGrain to Glass Single MaltSpirit of Texas Pfluger Single MaltAndalusia Whiskey Co. StrykerBalcones Texas ‘1’ Single MaltGrain to Glass OtherLone ElmTrue Blue 100Dripping Springs Distilling Republic WhiskeyBottled in Texas OtherAustonian WhiskeyTexas RangerRebecca Creek WhiskeyOf course, as with most competitions, the opinions of the judges don’t always match what consumers like. To give the people their say, we have a people’s choice award.Peoples Choice AwardIron Wolf Ranch and DistilleryAustin Craft Spirits (Austin 101)Lone ElmIt is an exciting time for Texas whiskey. There are new distilleries aging products and established distilleries exploring locally sourced grains. We have seen a variety of distilleries release whiskey finished in different casks. We look forward to what the future will bring.