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Roughstock

If there's one thing Montana isn't, it's small. Montana is vast in every sense of the word, and its wide open spaces come with a sense of unlimited possibility. But for all its space, there really isn't much in Montana – aside from everything you need to make really good whiskey, coincidentally. It's called "The Treasure State" because it's rich with resources like beautiful grain and pure mountain snowmelt in the form of lakes, streams, rivers and aquifers, all of which make the state almost a whiskey-making paradise.

Despite all this, Montana hadn't hosted a distillery in more than 100 years, until the folks of RoughStock came along. Beckoned by the state's distinct sense of opportunity, RoughStock proprietor and distiller Bryan Schultz returned to his native Montana from serving overseas in the armed forces and decided he had to make use of Montana's incredible natural resources in order to make an equally incredible whiskey. He and his wife Kari mortgaged everything they had, sold all their things and maxed out their credit cards to found the company. When all was said and done, RoughStock became the state's first legal distillery since Prohibition. 

RoughStock takes its name from a rodeo term that represents the core values of the American West: tradition, hard work and individual skill. Rough stock events are the bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback bronc riding that happen at those rodeos – and so RoughStock's unofficial mascot is the pioneering American Cowboy.

Tucked in to the base of the Bridger Mountain Range in scenic southwestern Bozeman, Montana, RoughStock handcrafts small-batch whiskey with total attention throughout the process and a meticulous devotion to detail and quality. Double-distilled in custom copper pot stills and aged in custom American white oak barrels, RoughStock's whiskey's flavor is large and in charge, but it maintains a stoic humbleness – much like Montana itself. Both speak for themselves.  

Maker website: montanawhiskey.com

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