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Hotel Tango Distillery [Veteran Vices]



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It’s no secret that we’re big fans of a well-executed whiskey — even better if it has an inspirational story behind it. Hotel Tango Distillery checks both boxes with vigor. 

Travis Barnes enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks and was quickly selected for service in 1st Recon Battalion, where he went on to serve three tours in Iraq. 

Following his Marine Corps service, Travis went to law school and had two life-altering events: meeting his wife, Hilary, and taking an interest in the spirits business. During his time in law school, the state of Indiana — where Hotel Tango is based out of — changed their liquor distillation laws for the first time since Prohibition. 

This change created an opportunity for Travis to turn his passion for spirits into a business, and thus Hotel Tango Distillery was born. Says Travis:

“The company approaches everything from a military mindset … from the way we produce our spirits to the way we communicate with each other in the boardroom. I wouldn’t be here today without relying on the lessons I learned in the Marines, and I could not be prouder or more humbled of where Hotel Tango is today because of the military values that have built this company.”

We can happily vouch for the results of this approach, having tasted their bourbon ourselves. We found their take on the all-American spirit to be incredibly smooth with heavy notes of vanilla and just enough warmth on the back end to tame a winter chill. 

Fortunately, this focus on military mindset and core values doesn’t stop inside the walls of Hotel Tango’s headquarters. Travis and his team make a concerted effort to bolster a number of veteran causes, including the American Legion’s “Be the One” campaign to end veteran suicide. 

They also support a local Indianapolis charity called Helping Veterans and Families (HVAF). Furthermore, Travis says, “If there is anyone reading this article that needs support, please reach out. We are happy to help if we can!”

Hotel Tango is available nationwide, anywhere where spirits are sold. If it’s not available where you happen to imbibe, ask for it. There’s also their in-house tasting room in Indianapolis. 

Travis invites anyone passing through, especially veterans, to stop in and raise a glass:

“I love hanging out with vets who stop in at our tasting room in downtown Indianapolis. It is always humbling to hear stories from our country’s warrior class. If anyone is ever passing through Indy, please let me know because I always love hanging out with those who have served this country.” 

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1 Comment

  • Tim Cremer says:

    My wife and I are fans of Hotel Tango. We live in Indiana as well and we like supporting local Indiana businesses when possible. My wife likes the Hotel Tango Vodka and I like the Hotel Tango Bourbon and the Hotel Tango Reserve. They are tasty!

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  • My wife and I are fans of Hotel Tango. We live in Indiana as well and we like supporting local Indiana businesses when possible. My wife likes the Hotel Tango Vodka and I like the Hotel Tango Bourbon and the Hotel Tango Reserve. They are tasty!

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