Hooray, It’s National Bourbon Day!

Grayson is a new all-Texan bourbon blend.
Grayson is a new all-Texan bourbon blend. Greyson Whiskey
Sure, sure, shame us because it’s “just” a marketing holiday, but whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or a happy-go-lucky cocktail consumer, this one’s worth raising a glass.

If you’re closer to the latter than the former, you might want a quick lesson on what classifies as bourbon. (Experts can skip to the fun part.)

To be classified as bourbon, the whiskey must be made in the United States from grain or a mixture of grains that is at least 51% corn. Second, it must be aged for at least two years in new charred oak barrels; no used barrels are allowed if you want to call your product bourbon. It can’t contain any additives or colorings and must be at least 80 proof (with other ABV requirements for the distilling, filtering and bottling processes.)

With that out of the way, let us guide you to some fun tastings, a locally-founded bourbon, a cocktail and some whiskey bars to enjoy today or any time. Below are a couple fun tastings this Monday followed by some drink specials.


1920 McKinney Ave., Ste. 100 (Uptown)

Less than two weeks ago, Haywire opened its new Uptown location, and tonight they’re having their first whiskey tasting. Enjoy complimentary tastings by Horse Soldier Bourbon from 5 to 7 p.m. It’s a come-and-go event, and no reservations are needed.

Because Monday is also Flag Day, both Haywire locations will offer a cocktail/donation special. Purchase a Horse Soldier Old Fashioned ($10) and Haywire will donate $1 to Horse Soldier’s Folded Flag Foundation. This promotion runs through June 19.

Whiskey Cake

5901 Winthrop St. (Plano) 972-993-2253 and 3225 Regent Blvd. (Irving) 469-941-2253

Take part in a blind tasting to see if you can tell which bourbons are from Kentucky and which are from Texas. You can test your skill at 6 p.m. tonight at either Whiskey Cake location.

According to a press release, “Attendees will take notes at each station as they taste three Texas and three Kentucky bourbons with the labels hidden in burlap sacks. They’ll place votes on which state they think each bourbon is from, and then Whiskey Cake will reveal the correct answers. If a guest gets all three guesses for one state right, they’ll be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a $100 gift card.”

The event costs $50 per person and includes a buffet of select appetizers. To purchase a ticket, call or email your favorite Whiskey Cake location.

If you can’t make it there tonight, a Texas vs. Kentucky bourbon flight ($15) will be offered through Sunday, June 20, with sips of Buffalo Trace, Old Forester, Garrison Brothers and Nine Banded bourbon.

click to enlarge Either neat or as a cocktail, according to national fake holiday statute, you should imbibe in bourbon. - KRISTINA ROWE
Either neat or as a cocktail, according to national fake holiday statute, you should imbibe in bourbon.
Kristina Rowe

More Fun Ways to Celebrate National Bourbon Day

Grayson Whiskey

The first Texas Blended Bourbon ever produced made its debut in Dallas last month, and it’s made with whiskeys from Ironroot Republic, Lone Elm Whiskey and Balcones. This bourbon is complex yet sippable, and makes a nice cocktail, too.

Grayson is on the menu at Jaxon Beer Garden and The Hard Shake Bar located on the second floor of The Exchange in the AT& T Discovery district. You can also order it at Lovers Seafood or purchase a bottle at Spec’s, Pogo’s Wine and Spirits, Liquor King or Total Wine & More.

Happiest Hour

2610 Olive St.

You don’t have to be an aficionado to enjoy bourbon. Among Happiest Hour’s new frozen cocktails (only available at the Lawn Bar) is a whiskey stunner called the Goldrush made with Jim Beam Bourbon and Jim Beam Honey Whiskey with lemon, honey and yellow chartreuse.

Maple Landing

5855 Maple Ave.

This aviation-themed bar near Love Field is the place for burgers, brisket, beer and bourbon. This neighborhood bar holds a few surprises, including the fact that you can order select $5 whiskeys all day every day. For National Bourbon Day, you might choose Still Austin Bourbon which is made sustainably sourced Texas grains.

Trinity Hall

5321 E. Mockingbird Lane

In case you missed it, Trinity Hall reopened last week and it’s a great place for whiskey. While the focus there is clearly on Irish and Scotch singles, malts and blends, you’ll surely find a bourbon or two in the mix.
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By day, Kristina Rowe writes documentation that helps users navigate software, and as a contributor to the Dallas Observer she helps people find their way to food and fun. A long-time list-maker, small-business fan and happiness aficionado, she's also been an Observer reader for almost 40 years.
Contact: Kristina Rowe