Texans have long made whiskey their drink of choice, and more and more they're choosing to knock back whiskey made in the Lone Star State.
With that loyalty in mind, meet Nine Banded Whiskey, your new favorite bourbon whiskey out of Austin that's perfect for old fashioneds, Manhattans, sours, or simply on the rocks or neat.
Nine Banded Whiskey was founded by two University of Texas alumni, Sean Foley and Chris Ogden, who wanted to create a local whiskey that embodied everything great about their city. No pretense, just damn good whiskey that honors Austin's history and keeps up with today's culture while remaining accessible for all.
The story behind the name
If "nine banded" doesn't immediately ring a bell, perhaps this will: "armadillo." The nine-banded armadillo is not only the state mammal, but also a symbol of the independent and creative spirit that runs through the Texas capital.
It's also a nod to Armadillo World Headquarters, the 1970s music venue where Willie and his friends helped unite hippies and rednecks over a cold beer and a shot of whiskey. Nine Banded Whiskey celebrates the diverse and inclusive music scene in Austin, both then and now.
Two new additions
In late 2019, Nine Banded released two new product offerings: one a wheated straight bourbon with a mash bill of 51 percent corn, 45 percent wheat, and 4 percent malted barley and the other a straight bourbon with a mash bill of 87 percent corn, 11 percent rye, and 2 percent malted barley.
This whiskey doesn't taste like anything else because it can't be made anywhere else. Limestone filtered water, sourced directly from an ancient spring in the Texas Hill Country, forms the basis for a spirit that's blended and bottled by hand in Dripping Springs.
At 90 proof, both are very approachable. On the nose, the wheated is grassy, herbal, and mineral with a touch of butterscotch. On the palate, the wheat brings out a sweetness combined with a rich and round mouthfeel and a lingering, smooth finish.
The straight bourbon is a perfect base for any cocktail. The rye gives this bourbon backbone and is designed to be versatile. It is spice-forward with stone fruit, clove, and a salted caramel finish.
Where to find it
Pick up a bottle or two of Nine Banded at Spec's, Total Wine and More, Twin Liquors, or Zipps.