2021 Texas Whiskey Festival Announces Its Winners

The Texas Whiskey Festival has announced the winners of the annual competition of the best Texas Whiskeys.

Each year the Texas Whiskey Festival hosts a competition to determine who has the best Texas Bourbon, Rye, and Malt Whiskey. With a panel of judges, they conduct the competition with a method known as blind judging. The brands and specific whiskeys they are tasting are unknown to the judges. “Our panel of judges smell and taste their way through each whiskey, rating the aroma, taste complexity, and finish,” said Co-Founder Jake Clements in a prepared statement.

2021 Texas Whiskey Festival Judges

2021 Texas Whiskey Festival Judges (image via Texas Whiskey Festival)

The winners are as follows:

Bourbon: Grain to Glass

  1. Garrison Brothers Balmorhea Texas Straight Bourbon

  2. Silver Star Whiskey 1849 Straight Bourbon

  3. Balcones Distilling Texas Pot Still Bourbon

Bourbon: Aged and Bottled in Texas

  1. Rebecca Creek 10 year Straight Bourbon

  2. Milam and Greene Triple Cask Straight Bourbon

  3. Iron Wolf Ranch and Distillery Select Bourbon

Rye Whiskey: Grain to Glass

  1. Balcones Distilling Texas Rye 100

  2. Gulf Coast Distilling Giant Rye 100

  3. Ranger Creek Distilling .44 Texas Rye

Rye Whiskey: Aged and Bottled in Texas

  1. Treaty Oak Distilling Schenley Reserve Rye

  2. Yellow Rose Distilling Rye

  3. Oak & Eden Rye & Spire

Malt Whiskey: Grain to Glass

  1. Ranger Creek Distilling Rimfire Mesquite Smoked Single Malt

  2. Andalusia Whiskey Co. Stryker Smoked Single Malt

  3. Balcones Distilling Lineage Single Malt

Other Whiskeys: includes whiskeys aged in used barrels, blended whiskey, and light whiskey.

  1. Austin 101 Light Whiskey (made grain to glass in Texas)

  2. Remington Family Distillers Remington Revival

  3. Rebecca Creek Small Batch

“These are their winners, but remember the best whiskey is the one you like,” noted Clements. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite distillery to decide on the people’s choice.

The judges for this year included

  • Marianne Eaves, KY’s First Female Master Distiller, Founder of Eaves, LLC Whisk(e)y and Spirits Consulting and Curator of Eaves Blind.

  • Gabrielle Pharms, a Veteran journalist with bylines in/on Bourbon Plus, Whisky Advocate, Imbibe Magazine, UPROXX, and more.

  • Tom Koerner the former Spirit Guide and General Manager of Seven Grand Whiskey Bar and Las Perlas Mezcaleria, Current Brand Ambassador for Mezcal Unión