By Father John Rayls
Let’s hear it for the United States Marines: they’ve secured another beachhead in Lewisville, Texas, and secured it with (and for) whiskey!
Some former US Marines found themselves living in the Dallas area after their discharge from service and sharing a love for bourbon started the Witherspoon Distillery in 2011. In addition to Witherspoon Straight Texas Bourbon Whiskey, they also produce Bonfire (a cinnamon-infused rum), River Rum and a Single Malt Texas Whiskey. They use all American raw products with fermenting, distilling, aging and bottling staying on-site. As an added plus, the location is equipped with an experienced mixologist blending cocktails to order before and after the hour-long tours.
The bottle is easily recognizable from its tall and rectangular shape and the big Texas star prominently displayed on the label. With a nod to the Marines’ Semper Fi, the motto states “Always Faithful Honoring Tradition.” This is a 100 proof offering of Texas goodness that is, as the “straight” designation requires, at least two years old.
The appearance is of dark copper, with readily apparent legs surrounding the glass. The nose is somewhat subtle and delicate (I always prefer an aggressive nose), with caramel and oak on top of very light flowers.
The taste is surprising. It has a mash bill of 75% corn with the rest coming from barley and rye. The mouthfeel is creamy, but stops short of oily. I expected a much sweeter bolder taste up front. There is a sweet caramel flavor initially, very smooth, which gradually transforms into cinnamon and pepper. The cinnamon combines with the caramel to form a delicious “I want more” call at the back of the mouth. However, the pepper kicks in for the finish with a command of “Attention!”
Witherspoon’s bourbon is not too much of anything, but just a smooth, exciting taste experience. The finish is long and interesting at the back of the mouth, but somehow leaves the lips tingling with excitement. The back of the tongue and the roof of the mouth holds most of the experience. The finish just jumps around the mouth making for a very interesting taste experience. The lips are consistently the last place the taste lingers and it’s there for a significant period of time.
Witherspoon Straight Texas Bourbon Whiskey is a smooth, easy drinking bourbon that should be on everyone’s “want to try” list. This is especially in view of the pricing, which is economical and affordable by craft whiskey standards. In addition, if you find yourself near Dallas, this distillery tour is making it onto many top 10 distillery tours lists. I’m already making my plans to fight I-35 and drop in soon. Nice work Marines…Semper Fi!
You’ll find it just under $40.00 at many different locations (at least in Texas).