panel discussion

Replay: Terroir in Whiskey

Many people believe that wine shows terroir (the impact of a local environment on the finished product) but that whiskey and other spirits do not. Since they usually employ commodity crops, are processed via distillation, and are often aged. Many distillers beg to differ, and some are putting in the work to prove it. In this chat, we’ll explore the notion of terroir in whiskey; where it can be expressed and where it really doesn’t show. Do we find it in the field, the distillery, or the rickhouse?  Rob Arnold, Master Distiller, wrote “The Terroir of Whiskey: A Distiller’s Journey Into the Flavor of Place,”  will lead this conversation. Special Guest included Head Distiller from Texas based Balcones Distillery, Jared Himstedt, to share his knowledge on Terroir.  

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Dr. Rob Arnold, Master Distiller, Consultant & Author
Dr. Rob Arnold is the former master distiller of TX Whiskey and a third-generation member of the whiskey industry. He holds a Ph.D in Plant Breeding & Genetics from Texas A&M University. His research explored the impact of terroir in whiskey, much of which is detailed in his book "The Terroir of Whiskey: A Distiller's Journey Into the Flavor of Place".
Special Guests:
Jared Himstedt, Head Distiller, Balcones Distilling
Jared whetted his appetite for distilling first as a home brewer and a manager of Dancing Bear pub, a craft beer bar here in Waco, Texas. He is the creative force, product developer, and head blender at the distillery, overseeing everything from label design to barrel selection since Balcones’s inception in 2008. Being involved in an industry steeped in both rich tradition and explorative innovation is part of what keeps Jared committed to the creation of fine whiskies—that, and “getting to work alongside some wonderful, thoughtful, diligent, and creative people.” When he can get away from the distillery, Jared can be found spending time outside with family, friends, good music, and good drinks, particularly the #1 Texas Single Malt, which is still an enduring favorite.