Yellow Rose Distilling Wins Big at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge; Receives National Recognition for Straight Rye Whiskey & Outlaw Bourbon

Share Article

Houston's first legal whiskey distillery produces small batch, Texas-style whiskeys

Winning an award like this is just another reminder that we are on the right track, and we are building a product that will ultimately succeed in a highly competitive market.

Yellow Rose Distilling, Houston’s first legal whiskey distillery, has yet another accolade to add its already impressive list of national awards. A panel of industry experts recently gave its Straight Rye Whiskey a score of 96 – Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation - and awards for being both a Finalist and Great Value. Outlaw Bourbon took home a rating of 91 – Excellent, Highly Rated.

The Ultimate Spirits competition, now in its seventh year, attracts hundreds of entrants from around the globe in all major categories of spirits. Yellow Rose Distilling was one of only 157 finalists to be chosen by judges who include some of the beverage industry’s most important restaurateurs, sommeliers, buyers, journalists and bartenders.

Yellow Rose Straight Rye Whiskey received a favorable tasting note from the panel: “Leathery, spicy, and citrusy on first sniff. Pine, mint, and peach come after. Lots of spicy rye character on the palate balanced by fruit and cream. A robust and nutty finish ensues.” The Outlaw Bourbon was praised for its “Exquisite nose of caramel covered apple, freshly milled wood, sweet smoke, and grapefruit.”

“We have come a long way since we started this company six years ago,” says Yellow Rose co-founder Ryan Baird. “From securing permits and investments to moving to our current distillery space in 2014 to cementing a national expansion deal last year, this has definitely been a labor of love for all of us. Winning an award like this is just another reminder that we are on the right track, and we are building a product that will ultimately succeed in a highly competitive market.”

Rye whiskey dwindled in popularity following Prohibition but has recently come to the forefront of the modern American craft cocktail movement. Yellow Rose’s Straight Rye has been popular among consumers due to its sweeter subtleties – it’s just as drinkable on the rocks as in cocktails. Yellow Rose Outlaw Bourbon is pot-distilled from 100% corn; a unique approach to a spirit that usually incorporates several different grains. Legally, bourbon must be produced in the United States and made from a grain mixture that is at least 51 percent corn.

“The number of amazing craft whiskeys being produced in the US right now is undeniable. We have so much respect for all the other brands and distilleries out there,” says master distiller Troy Smith, who founded the company with Baird when they were next door neighbors. “But we started Yellow Rose because we saw an opportunity to do something different, to create unique products reflective of our home state. Our bourbon is a little bit sweeter than most for a reason, and we worked really hard to develop a rye that isn’t as peppery as some of the others out there. It’s always amazing to see that our vision is resonating with consumers and industry peers, and this award is just another example of that.”

High-res photos of the Yellow Rose distillery and its products, as well as award related collateral from the Ultimate Spirits Competition, are available here:

Photos from the Ultimate Spirits Competition are available here:

About Yellow Rose Distilling
Named after the Yellow Rose of Texas, history lore dating back to General Sam Houston’s 1836 victory at the battle of San Jacinto, YR Distilling was founded in 2010 by Ryan Baird, Troy Smith and Randy Whitaker. Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey launched in Houston in July of 2012. A 10,000 square foot production facility and tasting room opened on the edge of Uptown Houston in the fall of 2014. YR’s three core products – Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey, Straight Rye Whiskey and Blended Whiskey – have received critical acclaim and won numerous national awards, and are currently available at premium liquor stores and cocktail bars in select markets nationwide. Atlanta-based Blue Ridge Spirits is actively working with Yellow Rose to expand distribution and launch additional products. Call 281-866-8757 or log on to

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Dillon Sorensen
Studio Communications
+1 (713) 524-2800
Email >
Visit website