Photography: Courtesy Balcones Distilling, Courtesy Hood Rivers Distillers

We corral a small collection of whiskey faves out west.

The cowboy cocktail is always on our minds, and we can't think of a better way to kick off 2018 than with this selection, which comes packed with a little something extra.

Photography: Courtesy TwoDot Books

A Three-Finger Whiskey Reader

In The Golden Elixir of the West: Whiskey and the Shaping of America (TwoDot Books), authors Sherry Monahan and Jane Perkins take a discerning look at the iconic tonic and its formative role in the American West. What they find is a rich history filled with nostalgia, humor, tragedy, and success. Taking you from whiskey’s storied past in the Wild West to distilleries today, The Golden Elixir offers historic cocktail recipes, expert comparisons of the drink through the years, a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s first ski-in gastro distillery, and holiday gift guides to help you pair each whiskey drinker on your list with the perfect tipple ($24.95).

Let ’er Buck

With a history tied to one of the oldest and most prestigious rodeos in the West, Pendleton Whisky has quite a name to live up to. But with bold flavor and a smooth finish, it doesn’t disappoint. Handcrafted using Canadian-distilled whiskey by Hood River Distillers in Oregon, it’s precisely aged in American oak barrels and finished with a refreshing splash of the glacier-fed waters of Mount Hood (Oregon’s highest peak).

After you’ve tried the classic Pendleton Whisky, the No. 1 bestselling Canadian whiskey in Oregon, try braving the 90-proof Pendleton Midnight. It may be strong, but with notes of warm spices and leather, this full-bodied whiskey still goes down smooth (recipes here).

Photography: Balcones Distilling

Baby Blues

Balcones isn’t famous just for being the original Texas whiskey; its true claim to fame is its uniquely rich flavor — which comes from discerningly sourced ingredients. Since the introduction of its original Baby Blue whiskey, made with roasted blue corn, in 2009, Balcones has become so popular, in fact, that its offerings continue to grow. The Balcones Classic Series, available year-round, now also includes a traditional single malt, as well as specialty whiskeys like the Rumble (crafted from fermented wildflower honey, figs, and turbinado sugar) and, our favorite, the Brimstone (smoked with sunbaked Texas scrub oak).

Then there are the Annual Releases, each introduced once throughout the year. We suggest trying the Texas Rum. Made with the finest molasses and boasting rich fruit flavors, it’s bold, robust, and worth the wait.

From the January 2018 issue.


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