Herman Marshall Rye Whiskey

Herman Marshall a little whiskey distiller nestled in a forlorn Garland industrial patch, has gotten off to a great start with its brand new Herman Marshall Texas Bourbon Whiskey. The spirit earned a silver medal earlier this year in the straight bourbon category at the prestigious, blind-tasted American Distilling Institute 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits. Co-founders Marshall Louis and Herman Beckley have great satisfaction in the fact that theirs is a Texas product "from the corn up," meaning they're sourcing the primary grain in their mash bill from the Texas panhandle.

The smooth, small-batch whiskey has just debuted in North Texas. Its silkiness was evident at a recent tasting, where the whiskey exuded wonderful nuances of oak, spice, caramel and vanilla, with a long, mellow finish – so refreshing over ice.

Co-founders Marshall Louis and Herman Beckley are fond of saying that theirs is a Texas product “from the corn up,” which means they’re sourcing the primary grain in their spirit from the Texas panhandle. Most distilleries do not. The only other grain in the HM mix is barley.

“We’re a modern brand made in a classic style,” says Beckley, noting that the distillery uses handmade cypress fermentation tanks. “Maker’s Mark uses 100-plus-year-old cypress tanks,” adds Louis. HM whiskey ages in American oak.

The boutique distillery also makes Texas Rye Whiskey, which has a lighter, more floral character. (The team doesn’t source its rye locally because Texas’ climate is a non-starter for the grain.)

Louis’ background includes winemaking in South Africa and Beckley was a passionate hobbyist before the two teamed up. “We met at Starbucks about 12 years ago, and we started making whiskey,” says Beckley, “and we did it to the point that we needed to become a business. Several years ago, we started Dallas Distilleries and out of that, the Herman Marshall brand. It was a long process and a long journey.”