We make small-batch whiskeys and bourbon from raw, locally sourced grains using a hammer mill and pot stills. Wholly owned and operated by my wife and I, Rio Brazos Distillery is the first licensed spirits plant in Brazos County, dedicated to the use of slow, hands-on processes to produce superior whiskies. We believe that, like most cooking techniques for premium foods, technology has not improved much in the past century. Our cooking and distilling process is based on steam power. All of our controls, valves, and instruments are manually operated. Our grains are cooked in small, single batches in the open under atmospheric pressure. This gives us greater control over our product's quality and flavor than can be had in large distilleries that use pressure cooking and continuous-feed column stills.
Rio Brazos Distillery Bourbon has been aging – first in virgin, charred 30-gallon whiskey barrels and now in eleven-year-old, used bourbon barrels – for almost a year now and is almost ready to be bottled. It is made in small batches from whole rye, barley malt and Texas-grown corn that we crush in our hammer mill, cook, ferment, and distill in pot stills.
We already have two products on the market now, but the bourbon is our labor of love. These first two batches, enough to make a couple thousand bottles, were all made by mashing 100 gallons of whiskey wash at a time and fermenting in 55-gallon drums. It took us months to make a very small amount of whiskey. We are making a lot more dog per day now, but most of that is being put in barrels to age, so we will only have a small amount of bourbon to start.
Our whiskies, especially the bourbon, are intended to appeal to professional men and women aged 45 to 65 living in affluent metropolitan communities. Our first two products both were given fanciful brand names in addition to their type and class, preceded by "Rio Brazos Distillery" word logo. In contrast, our bourbon will not be given a fanciful brand name. It is titled simply "Rio Brazos Distillery Bourbon" and will be put in a completely different bottle and packaging. It will still have the shiny, hand-dipped wax closure and tape seal, but we will decide on a color after we decide on the label. This is because we want this product to stand alone as a premium bourbon with the rest of the top-shelf bourbons. We have put a lot of time, money, and yes, sweat, into every bottle of this bourbon and we need a package and label that reflects that dedication.