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Brandon’s Rock Town Distillery — an Arkansas company makes good

By: 18 March 2011 No Comment

It’s always fun to brag on an Arkansas business.

Phil Brandon opened his Rock Town Distillery in downtown Little Rock less than a year ago and the company is already making a name for itself. Brandon said it was his intention to use Arkansas ingredients to create top-shelf liquor and it appears his company is doing just that.

On March 1-4, the Ultimate Spirits Challenge — an International Super Bowl of sorts for the liquor industry — was held in New York City. Brandon’s Vodka placed second in its category and barely lost first place to Finland’s Finlandia Classic Vodka. You’ll find the contest results here. Brandon’s Vodka, by the way, was but one entry in a field of 37 international competitors.

Here’s the tasting note on Brandon’s Vodka generating during the competition:

A rich and multilayered aroma of oils and spice; taste profile features long, near-viscous textures and flavors of light spice and clean, smooth neutral spirit.

Now, here’s another thing to keep an eye on from Rock Town Distillery — the company’s bourbon should be all aged and ready to ship soon. The stuff ought to be pretty good, too. Why? The company’s Arkansas Lightning was rated highly by (just click the link to read the review). Here’s the tasting note on that:

Bold aromas of wet grain sack, crushed whole nut, and crusty artisanal raisin bread with a vibrant, silky dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a hot and spicy dusty gravel road finish. Opens up to some attractive macadamia nut brittle and spice cake notes with a touch of water. Very interesting and distinctive; will be great in cocktails.

Arkansas Lightning, of course, is simply Brandon’s Bourbon before it’s been aged. If the “early” product is rated highly, how good will the bourbon be after it’s had time to age?

Here’s the question — where do you find these fine products from Rock Town Distillery? Click here to see the list of bars and restaurants that carry that carry spirits from Rock Town and you might want to click here to check out the company’s Internet site, too.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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