GREAT FALLS — What happens when an iconic ranch north of Big Timber, an alcohol industry expert, and one of the most recognizable characters on tv come together? It adds up to a new spirit that brings the history of Big Sky Country to life.
A legendary Montana ranch has inspired a new whiskey and one of the backers behind the bourbon is someone fans of the hit show 'Yellowstone' will know quite well.
“Tasting it - it's damn good,” said Cole Hauser, who has partnered in the making of Lazy K Bar Ranch Bourbon Whiskey.
Hauser may be best known as the no-nonsense ranch foreman on Yellowstone.
Off screen, the 48-year-old actor has tapped into a new whiskey venture, teaming up with Lazy K Bar ranch owner David Luschen and alcohol industry veteran Britt West.
“Iit’s bringing out something that's iconic, kind of a symbol of Montana and has been for over 100 years, bourbon in Montana,” said Hauser.
The straight bourbon in a distinct container featuring the Lazy K Bar brand is distilled for 8 years in Kentucky and bottled in Bozeman. He hopes to one day add Montana grown ingredients to the mix. It scored 98 out of 100 by Tasting panel Magazine.
Hauser, who describes himself as a whiskey aficionado, says the taste sets it apart.
“The smoothness of it,” said Hauser. “It's a good thing and a bad thing depending, you know. You can drink a half a bottle of it real easy.”
Hauser encourages people to enjoy the bourbon responsibly.
Hauser’s film credits include roles in “School Ties”, “Good Will Hunting”, and “Dazed and Confused.” With his work on Yellowstone, time spent helping Montana veterans and now being involved in the whiskey business, Hauser says he spends more time in Big Sky Country than his home state of Florida.
And his Montana ties run deep: “Samuel T. Hauser arrived there and in the 1800s and I think it was 1862, and he was a banker first in Helena,” said Hauser. “Lake Hauser, the Hauser Dam, he created that to help with the farming industry back in in the late 1800s.”
Bourbon whiskey isn’t the only drink Hauser is involved in production of. He’s also one of the forces behind Free Rein Coffee, what he calls a brand for everyone.
“Most importantly it's roasted here in America, in San Angelo, Texas,” said Hauser. “We've put some wonderful people together, not only in Texas, but also Arkansas. And the response has been great. We've been working with veteran organizations and every bag that you buy over the holidays, a dollar goes to a veteran organization.”
Lazy K Bar Bourbon is available at select retailers across Montana, for a list, click here.