They say everything’s bigger in Texas. And they might very well be talking about the whiskey…especially after today. Old Forester is about to launch King Ranch Edition, a 105-proof straight bourbon commemorating the birthplace of American ranching. It’s available exclusively in the Lone Star State during a limited run.
Although the juice itself was distilled and aged in Kentucky—like all Old Forester whiskeys—this one takes on a touch of Texas by way of proprietary finishing through mesquite charcoal. The wood was sourced from King Ranch about 50 miles southwest of Corpus Christi. It imparts a pleasing palate of toasted pecans and perhaps a bit of bog fruit. In the finish is tobacco leaf and well-worn leather…reminiscent of your favorite saddle.
“Bourbon lovers across Texas are in for a rare and special treat that both whiskey connoisseurs and hardworking people can savor,” says Robert Hodgen, CEO of King Ranch. “We’re proud of the product as well as our partnership, which captures American history in a bottle.”
From a thematic standpoint, the new whiskey aims to connect and celebrate the family traditions of its two collaborators. Old Forester has been run by the Browns for seven generations; King Ranch is stewarded by its founder’s eighth-generation descendants. A common streak also runs through the Kentucky Derby. Old Forester is an integral part of the race’s signature cocktail, the mint julep. King Ranch, meanwhile, has shown three Derby winners throughout the race’s 147-year history, including Assault—the 1946 Triple Crown winner.
From a production standpoint, it’s hard not to see King Ranch edition taking direct aim at Longbranch. That other mesquite-influenced whiskey was launched back in 2018 as a partnership between Wild Turkey and Matthew McConaughey.
“Not alright, alright, alright,” the Academy Award-winning actor would surely say if we asked him about the latest Old Forester release.
Though it’s definitely worth mentioning that the King Ranch Edition is bolder and spicier than its lighter-drinking, celebrity-backed competition.
Texans can lasso the liquid starting on November 1. It’s set to retail at $70 per bottle and sold exclusively in Texas.
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