In the spirits
Some Texas rock ’n’ roll legends known for being beer drinkers and hell raisers have partnered with a distillery to release a boozy new commodity that’s really got some legs.
Waco-based Balcones Distilling is unveiling a new one-of-a-kind whiskey with collaborators and music icons ZZ Top. Dubbed Tres Hombres, in honor of the band’s first top 10 album, from 1973, the joint effort stems from a shared and prized Texas heritage and, of course, a fondness for the fiery spirit.
“ZZ Top’s love of Texas runs deep, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate that than by creating something together with Balcones, the original Texas whiskey,” says Carl Stubner, ZZ Top’s manager. “Tres Hombres exemplifies what can be achieved when brands care deeply about their respective products and legacy.”
The whiskey is now available across the country for pre-order through the distillery and at Keg N Bottle (although you might have to wait a bit for the shipment, they warn). It will roll out to liquor stores across Texas and select other states in mid-November. A 750-ml bottle sells for $59.99.
Tres Hombres, which takes on a grain-to-glass approach, is made using three grains: roasted blue corn, barley, and rye. According to the distillery, the whiskey features aromas of Honeycrisp apple and buttered pastry, has hints of brown sugar and red grapes, and offers an effervescent finish with notes of fresh ginger and sage.
And, no doubt, Texans will recognize the three sharp-dressed men emblazoned on the whiskey’s label.
Though Tres Hombres isn’t Balcones Distilling’s first boozy venture that celebrates a Texas legend, it’s likely one whiskey lovers will double back for again and again. The whiskey was years in the making, with Balcones Distilling even coordinating virtual tasting and blending chats with ZZ Top over Zoom.
“It was incredible to collaborate with the ZZ Top team to develop an exclusive whiskey that celebrates ZZ Top’s and Balcones’ shared Texas roots,” says Jared Himstedt, head distiller at Balcones. “To actually get to taste through the blending process with ZZ Top and make a whiskey that synthesizes our joint vision for Tres Hombres was an honor. ZZ Top are Texas and rock legends, and we can’t wait to share Tres Hombres with folks.”
ZZ Top is one of the best-known and loved bands in history, founded in Houston in 1969 and dazzling the world with their signature blues-rock sound and Texas flair.
In the 1980s, the band hosted some of the highest-grossing international concert tours of all time. Their impressive tenure in the music biz (15 studio records and 50 million albums sold) garnered the band three MTV Video Music Awards and, perhaps more significantly, earned them the classification of Official Heroes of the State of Texas.
Sadly, the band, and indeed all of Texas, lost one of its three vaunted members when bassist Dusty Hill died in July 2021 at the age of 72.
Tres Hombres seems the perfect whiskey to toast his memory and celebrate ZZ Top’s enduring legacy.