Based in Austin, TX, Treaty Oak Distilling Co. started as a rum maker, but they soon joined the gin (Waterloo Gin) and vodka (Starlite Vodka) business — two unaged products that didn’t stray too far from Treaty Oak’s white spirits wheelhouse. Then 2013 happened, and Treaty Oak released three new products: a barrel-aged gin, an aged rum and Red-Handed Bourbon.
Red-Handed Bourbon is not produced entirely in-house. Instead, it features some of the distilling team’s favorite bourbons from Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. These bourbons are then blended together and put into new barrels for another 12 to 15 months. The result is a bourbon with a high rye content and an oaky profile.
On the nose, Treaty Oak Red-Handed Bourbon is easy going, with oak, vanilla, caramel and mild pepper. Drink up, and you’ve got a medium-bodied mouthfeel and flavors ranging from caramel and pecans up front to more spice near the finish. Cinnamon, ginger and black pepper all come into the mix, not overwhelmingly so, but with enough panache to leave a lasting impression.
The name “Red-Handed” is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the brand’s “stealing” their whiskey from other distillers, which is a common practice utilized by many popular bourbon producers. In some cases, whiskey is merely sourced from a major distillery and repackaged into branded bottles, while in this case, Treaty Oak takes the extra step to blend multiple whiskeys before re-barreling them to achieve a specific flavor profile. For now, we’ll gladly settle for Red-Handed Bourbon, but we’re looking forward to more whiskeys down the road from Treaty Oak, as they’re currently aging their own whiskey to be released at a later date. Stay tuned.
– 42% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★