Yellow Rose Distilling & Tasting Room
Houston has so many elements that give it that Texas feel, from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March to the Houston Texans kicking off every Sunday during football season. Even with all of the staples around Houston that give it that Texas vibe there was one thing that had been missing that really encompassed Texas even more than beautiful women and that is its own Whiskey Distillery.
After hearing about Yellow Rose on the radio we decided to take a tour last month to see what all of the buzz was about. We were a little confused when we pulled up to the distillery because it is located in a one story warehouse surrounded by a few other warehouses that look identical. As we pulled into the parking lot we were guided by a sign outside the first building to the left welcoming guests to come in for the tour and whiskey tasting.
Front Desk/Bar Area
When we walked in to the distillery we were greeted at the counter by two sweet women requesting payment for the tour which includes a tasting of all four whiskeys as well as a sample of their Howdy Stranger Vodka for only 7 dollars. We walked up paid our entry fee and then made our way to the bar on the left side of the room to try a couple drinks before we headed out on the tour and whiskey/vodka sampling.
We ordered a Bloody Mary with Howdy Stranger Vodka and a Whiskey on the Rocks with the Blended Whiskey so we could really taste the liquors. The Howdy Stranger Vodka had an excellent smooth taste that went down as well as any premium vodka. The Blended Whiskey had a very similar taste to Crown Royal, which ended up becoming one of our new favorite Whiskeys since visiting the distillery. With our drinks they served typical bar pretzels, but there was a waffle food truck in the back by the loading dock, which offered anything from Wings & Waffles, Cheeseburger Fryders, Chicken Salad, Waffle Burgers, to many other crazy comfort foods served with waffles.
Before the tour started we ventured around the distillery to check out some of the equipment around the room and ended up running into two of the owners. They brought us up to speed on the birth of Yellow Rose Whiskey to where it is today. The idea of Yellow Rose Whiskey was first conceived in 2010 when neighbors Troy Smith and Ryan Baird were sitting around enjoying their favorite drink. With the assistance of partner Randy Whitaker, the idea of Yellow Rose Whiskey became a reality in 2012 when the product line was launched to the market, which made it the first legal Whiskey Distillery in Houston. Since launching, their Yellow Rose Outlaw Bourbon has won the Best in Class award at the American Distilling Institute and their Yellow Rose Straight Rye has won Double Gold at the San Francisco Artisan Spirits. Their goal is to keep expanding into new markets and build up their client base in Houston as well as around the United States.
After getting a little background information from Ryan and Randy we were ready to get the tour started and learn how all of our bad decisions are actually made. We started at the room containing a one-ton bag of organic yellow corn grown in Texas. At this room the corn is turned into mash and then sent to the adjacent room and put into a large steam-heated boiler which releases the sugars, which then cool off, and go into three fermenting tanks. From there the corn mash is poured into a pot-still where the alcohol begins to evaporate out of the mixture. We probably missed a few steps somewhere in the middle, I mean we had been drinking, but from here the product goes into barrels where the product is aged until it is ready to be added to water for the final product. Once the water is added to the finished barreled whiskey it is then taken to the other side of the building to be bottled and labeled for final shipment. During the tour you are taken from the corn room, to the larger steamers around to the final bottling/labeling area. Once you go through the entire process for how the Whiskey is made you are given the opportunity to sample all of the products. We enjoyed all of Yellow Rose’s products, but were the biggest fans of the Outlaw brand.
Don’t take our word for it. Get out to the distillery this weekend and sample the entire line of Yellow Rose products. Details about location and times are located below.
Yellow Rose Distillery is located just outside the loop at 1224 North Post Oak and offers tours Thursday / Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (tours start at 4:30 and 5:30) and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (tours start at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30). Tours are $7.00 and include a tasting of four Yellow Rose Whiskeys as well as their Howdy Stranger Vodka.
Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey
Straight Rye Whiskey
Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey
Howdy Stranger Vodka
Yellow Rose Products are currently available in Texas, Michigan, Washington D.C., Wisconsin, Arkansas, Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, and Tennessee. It can be purchased at Spec’s and other participating liquor stores here in Houston. It is also available at their Distillery off of North Post Oak, but for the heavy drinkers out there be aware that you can only buy 2 bottles a month straight from the distillery due to T.A.B.C. law. Your best bet is to use their store tracker located on their website at yellowrosedistilling.com.