Whisky Magazine Issue 130
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The Lone Star State loves a Canadian favourite
In Texas, everything is bigger. Even whisky. Texans love their whisky enough to have their own brand called Texas Spirit. And in true Texas style, whether it's Scotch, Bourbon or Canadian whisky, Texas Spirit is packaged in 1.5 litre bottles.
Texas could accommodate eight Scotlands or 17 Kentuckys in its 269,000 square miles and still have room for a ranch the size of Rhode Island. And nowhere do people love Canadian whisky more than they do in Texas. Their favourite? By a long shot, it's Crown Royal. Texans drink more Crown Royal than they do Jack Daniel's, Jim Beam, Johnnie Walker or any other whisky of any style or type.
If it seems strange that people living so far from Canada should be so keen on Canadian whisky, think oil. The first commercial oil wells in North America were in Canada while the largest are in Texas. Roughnecks, the people who do the specialised, backbreaking work of opening a well, travel where their work takes them. For nearly a century, as oil fields opened up in Canada and the US, a loose-knit community of roughnecks has drifted back and forth between Alberta and Texas. The Texans learned to love Canadian whisky while working in Alberta. The Albertans, in turn, brought it with them when the job took them to Texas. In the process, Canadian has become the unofficial whisky of the oil worker on both sides of the border.
Oil refineries in Texas City, are strikingly similar to whisky distilleries. The heart of these refineries, the column still, is bas...