5 Craft Distillers Bottling the Local Flavors of American Terroir

Bottle of Desert Door Texas Sotol next to a glass and limes against the backdrop of Driftwood, Texas.
Desert Door Texas Sotol—a spirit crafted from wild-harvested West Texas sotol plants that tastes like a blend of gin and tequila.Courtesy Image

Can a bourbon taste like Wyoming? Gin like the California coastline? Turns out, yes. These ultra-local spirits are proof that terroir isn’t just evident in the wine-making process. In fact, a new study just proved whiskey’s just like wine in that terroir influences taste.



If you want to taste American terroir, look no further than these craft distillers. These bottles will instantly add refinement to your bar cart or wet bar.

5 Craft Distillers Bottling the Local Flavors of American Terroir

1. Desert Door Texas Sotol Original

Produced from an agave-ish flowering shrub, sotol may not be as familiar as its tequila and mezcal cousins, but it’s just as much a part of warm climates and traditional desert drinking. Distilled from wild-harvested West Texas flora, Desert Door sotol has a minerality that suggests a meeting of gin and tequila, but a finish as unique as the Texas Hill Country where it’s made.

[$40; desertdoor.com]

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Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey Courtesy Image

2. Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

With Bighorn Basin roots this premium bourbon uses corn, wheat and malted barley from local farms. The sine qua non is high-pH water from a nearby limestone aquifer, lending texture and taste that’s earned Wyoming Whiskey awards and comparisons to elite Kentucky brands.

[$45; wyomingwhiskey.com]

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Preserve Hobbit House Rhode Island

What Eating Like a Hobbit Taught Me About Dining With Bourbon

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Gray Whale Gin
Gray Whale Gin Courtesy Image

3. Gray Whale Gin

The lineup of botanicals in this stylish bottle sounds like a foraging tour up California Highway 1. The recipe includes Big Sur juniper, Santa Cruz mint, Mendocino kelp, Sonoma fir and limes from the Baja Peninsula. It’s inspired by the 1,200-mile migratory journey of the gray whale.

[$40; graywhalegin.com]

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Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy
Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy Courtesy Image

4. Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy

From one of the top artisan distilleries in the Southwest, Santa Fe Spirits’ apple brandy is produced from heirloom apples at the distillery’s own orchard in a small farming community at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The result fuses the essence of New Mexican air, water and earth into premium nectar.

[$53; santafespirits.com]

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Take Your Bar Beyond Bourbon With These American-Made Spirits

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TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey
TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey Courtesy Image

5. TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The mash bill of this bourbon from Fort Worth’s Firestone & Robertson includes Texas yellow dent corn, Texas soft red winter wheat, Texas water and a proprietary strain of Texas yeast derived from Texas pecans. The result? “Flavor made exclusively out of Texan ingredients that’s undeniably Texas,” say the proud Texas makers.

[$50; frdistilling.com]

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