Texas-based Treaty Oak Distilling — makers of Treaty Oak Rum and Waterloo Gin — has released three new spirits. So that’s exciting. The new products are: Treaty Oak Barrel Reserve, Waterloo Antique Gin and Red-Handed Bourbon. Unlike the distillery’s flagship spirits, these new entrants are all aged in barrels before bottling. Now, let’s take a closer look at each:
Treaty Oak Barrel Reserve
This spirit starts its life as regular Treaty Oak Rum, but it’s then aged for two to three years in 53-gallon new American oak barrels. The medium char and the hot Texas sun work quickly to give this one lots of richness and complexity.
Waterloo Antique Gin
The gin is distilled using local botanicals and spring water, and then aged in new American white oak barrels. Rather than bottling the gin at a consistent age, the 94-proof Antique Gin is comprised of various aged gins. According to Treaty Oak, this is because different flavor elements come to the front at different points of the aging process. So some of the gin is just one year old, while some is more than two years old. That oak adds some warm, whiskey-like qualities to the spirit without totally masking the herbal botanicals. We first tasted this one about a month ago and, tasted blind, it’s a confusing, though quite delicious experience.
Treaty Oak’s first whiskey features a melange of bourbons from Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. They bought some of their favorite barrels from several distilleries across the country and brought them back to Texas where they blended them together. After putting that blend back into barrels for another 12 to 15 months, we’ve got this: Red-Handed Bourbon. A bourbon with a high rye component that’s notably different than sweeter-style wheated bourbons.
Blending bourbon is good practice for Treaty Oak Distilling, as they hope to create their own whiskey one day. For now, you can find Red-Handed Bourbon, Waterloo Antique Gin and Treaty Oak Barrel Reserve Rum on store shelves in Texas. Distribution will expand from there.