Based in Dripping Springs, Treaty Oak Distilling has been at the leading edge of the Texas craft spirits scene since 2006. We know, we know, you might be thinking: there’s a Texas craft spirits scene? Indeed, there is, and it’s one that’s getting bigger and better every year. Meanwhile, Treaty Oak is among the original pioneers and that’s given them a little extra time to hone their craft. The result is an acclaimed portfolio of gins and whiskeys, which includes the delectable Waterloo Antique Gin. While scoring a bottle in Australia is currently next to impossible, this particular expression is too good not to mention, so here we are.
Distilled using local botanicals and Texas spring water, Waterloo Antique Gin sits inside American White Oak barrels and bakes under the hot Texas sun for a full two years. As a result, it develops a glorious body of dark amber colour, which immediately distinguishes it from a slew of clear counterparts. Providing further distinction is the appetising aroma of botanicals and vanilla, along with the smooth, bold taste of nutmeg, herbs, and leather. Sealing the deal is a sweet and spicy blend of cinnamon on the finish.
Of course, Waterloo Antique Gin is just one among a range of expressions offered by Treaty Oak Distilling. Their flagship gin goes by the name of Waterloo No. 9 and it took home the Gold at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Delivering a unique take on traditional dry gin, it blends botanical flavours with citrus elements to delicious effect. Those citrus elements, by the way, come from a partnership with Dr. Mani Skaria of U.S. Citrus, who developed a proprietary USDA-certified citrus propagation technique.
Treaty Oak Distilling has also just released yet another gin, known as Waterloo Old Yaupon. Crafted in the vein of an 18th-century London Dry Gin, it comes in at 90 proof and features notes of juniper, lime, anise, and wildflower honey.
As if its extraordinary selection of gins weren’t enough, Treaty Oak Distilling offers three signature whiskeys. First up is Ghost Hills Texas Bourbon Whiskey, which is mashed, fermented, distilled, barrelled, aged, and bottled right there in Dripping Springs. Its mashbill of Yellow Texas No.1 corn, Texas wheat, and American barley amounts to a softly smoky aroma and the taste of lightly spicy sweet corn. Bottled at 95 proof, the spirit was recently awarded 91 points by Whiskey Advocate.
Rounding out Treaty Oak’s portfolio are two whiskeys sourced from outside of Texas, a fact that the brand (refreshingly) doesn’t try to conceal. Red-Handed Bourbon was “stolen” (their word, not ours) from across the country, and it blends a two-year-old Kentucky bourbon with a four-year-old Virginia bourbon. Winner of a Double Gold medal from The Fifty Best, it’s a resoundingly unique expression, which pairs notes of cherry, wood, and barley with crisp green apple.
Treaty Oak Red-Handed Rye Whiskey, meanwhile, is sourced from Indiana’s Schenley Distillery, where it was aged for 10 years. A mashbill of 53% rye, 39% corn, and 8% barley gives way to woody spice, pepper, and fruit. Like its brethren, this one comes in a newly designed bottle, the kind of which emanates with private-label vibes.
Thanks to a recent partnership with Mahalo Spirits Group, Treaty Oak Distilling is currently expanding into new territories. Does that mean it’s only a matter of time before Waterloo Antique Gin washes up on Australian shores? Let’s hope so. In the meantime, you’ll just have to call in a favour from that one mate who moved to Austin. Should you do so, you’ll be sipping Texas-style soon enough.