Treaty Oak distillery, located just outside of Austin in Dripping Springs, Texas has been around since 2006. So, they aren’t new, but they got their whiskey start by sourcing and bottling juice from other distilleries. Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon, on the other hand, is 100% Treaty Oak’s liquid.
Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon is made from local grains at nearby Barton Springs Mill. The mash clocks in at 57% Texas corn, 32% Texas wheat, and 11% American barley, and the two-year-old whiskey is made entirely on site at the Treaty Oak Distillery. Now, onto the reason you’re here: Is this stuff any good?
On the nose, you’re immediately hit with a lot of those soft wheat notes, with undertones of an almost rye-like spice, which is interesting considering there’s no rye in the mash bill. You also get a lot of the grainy characteristics from the wheat and barley, plus some sweetness from the corn, which slightly overpowers the other notes. That, however, is to be expected with more than half of the mash being made from corn. Following the grains, there’s a powerful and fresh French vanilla character, plus a bit of candy corn. The nose takes some getting used to, but it’s very approachable, albeit unusual.
On the palate, there’s a bitter, very dry, almost rye-pepper-meets-French-oak spice that’s hard to place. This is definitely a young whiskey at just two years, and it shows on the palate. It’s oily and syrupy, coating your mouth and tongue. The whiskey is very wheat and vanilla forward with notes of barley shining through, but the corn is being almost completely masked here. The body gives way to a very French oak sweet and funky finish that has a nice medium length to it.
Overall, Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon is a solid and unique whiskey, and it makes me look forward to Treaty Oak’s future—especially as they begin to release older whiskeys.