Every bottle of whiskey tells a story. For some, it’s a tale of tradition and age-old practices, for others, it’s an account of innovation and breaking boundaries. Herman Marshall’s Single Malt Whiskey, crafted right here in Wylie, Texas, is a unique fusion of both these narratives. This is an epic tale of a Texas-spin on a Scottish legend.
This story begins against a backdrop of global upheaval. 1914: The world was aflame with war, spurred on by a young man’s gunshot that reverberated across continents, tearing countries and families apart. The United States, initially a spectator to the bloody theater, eventually found itself drawn into the fray. As the nation geared up for conflict, resources were strained, and among the first casualties was the country’s thriving liquor industry.
The subsequent advent of Prohibition, intended as a noble endeavor to elevate American morality, struck a fatal blow to the whiskey industry. Distilleries shuttered their doors, and once vibrant entertainment districts crumbled under the weight of these changes. However, in the shadows of society, opportunity lurked.
Prohibition inadvertently gave rise to organized crime, as mobs filled the void left by the collapse of the legal whiskey trade. Their operations transformed many American cities into violent battlegrounds, but also kept the spirit of whiskey alive, albeit in a clandestine manner. The whiskey industry, though fractured, was not completely lost.
It was into this world of opportunity and challenge that Herman Beckley and Marshall Louis ventured with their vision. They dreamed of reviving the lost art of American whiskey-making, of resurrecting the centuries-old craft that had been tossed aside in the wave of Prohibition. This dream led them to dig deep into the roots of the industry, unearthing 1800s bourbon recipes and pioneering their way towards what would become the Herman Marshall Single Malt Whiskey.
This unique whiskey, aptly described as “whiskey from the grain up,” is a labor of love, born out of tireless experimentation and careful attention to detail. The grains are hand-selected, AAA-rated corn sourced from the fertile plains of the Texas Panhandle. These are then ground meticulously in their state-of-the-art roller mill, setting the stage for the process of distillation.
The mash is fermented in hand-built open-top cypress tanks, a nod to the practices of whiskey forefathers. Cypress was chosen for its resistance to rot and its ability to leave the developing whiskey unaltered in taste. This careful fermentation, under the watchful eyes of Herman and Marshall, allows the mash to come alive in a soft bubble, preparing it for the next step of the journey.
The next phase of transformation takes place in their custom, handcrafted 400-gallon copper pot still, heated by steam in a gentle salute to the past. Their secret proprietary yeast strain and water sourced from a hidden spring in East Texas infuse the mash with unique nuances, adding to its growing character.
Patience is key in the whiskey-making process. The newly distilled whiskey is aged in new charred American white oak barrels. Here, it’s the Texan weather that adds its touch to the whiskey’s flavor profile. Texas, known for its intense heat and dramatic temperature swings, causes expansion and contraction in the barrels. This natural process pushes the whiskey in and out of the charred wood, infusing it with signature notes that hint at the land where it was crafted.
However, the tale of Herman Marshall’s Single Malt Whiskey doesn’t end here. The team behind the whiskey recognizes that smoothness is essential, a trait that requires skill and practice to perfect. After years of refining their techniques, Herman Marshall’s whiskey is now celebrated for its smoothness, flavor, and authenticity.
Herman Marshall Single Malt Whiskey is unique and delightfully different, a 100% malted barley blend that offers a peaty hint of malted barley lingering on the finish. It presents a delicate nose of vanilla and caramel, underscored by robust malt notes and a whisper of smoke. On the palate, light oak wood melds with dried fruit and malt, leading to a smooth finish that promises sweet heat.
This whiskey stands tall and proud, a Texas tribute to a Scottish legend. Its creation, a journey steeped in passion and persistence, represents a resurgence of tradition and a dedication to craft. Its reception, marked by accolades from Master Distiller judges and recognition as “Best Small Batch Bourbon,” bears testament to its quality and the commitment of its creators.
The acquisition of Herman Marshall by Dry County Distilleries in 2021 marked a new chapter in its story. With a proud legacy behind them and a bold vision for the future, the team at Herman Marshall, including Herman himself, continues to work towards producing award-winning whiskey, carrying on the legacy of the brand and the craft.
Every sip of Herman Marshall’s Single Malt Whiskey is a taste of this journey. It’s not merely a beverage, but a tribute to tradition, a testament to tenacity, and a symbol of the spirit of innovation. This is the story of Herman Marshall’s Single Malt Whiskey – a Texas spin on a Scottish legend. It’s a tale told not in words, but in the language of a smooth, rich, and captivating whiskey.
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