DSR – TX – 001: TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Mash Bill: At least 51% Texas yellow dent corn, Texas soft red winter wheat, and barley
Age Statement: NAS (website indicates at minimum 4 years old)
Proof/ABV: 90 Proof/45% ABV
Color & Viscosity: Golden honey with a light orange hue. Coats glass nicely with thick legs.
Purchase Price: $39.95 from NC ABC store August 2020; 750 ml
Bottle Label Information:
“TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
“Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.”
” Ninety Proof Bourbon”
“BORN FROM PURE PASSION AND PATIENCE, we are extremely proud to share our distinctly TEXAS STRAIGHT BOURBON with you. Using locally farmed corn and wheat and ONE OF A KIND yeast we captured and skillfully cultivated, the provenance of this Bourbon Whiskey is its reward. It is remarkably smooth and exudes unique flavors of DARK FRUIT, SWEET SPICE, and CARAMEL. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!”
“From Proprietors Leonard Firestone & Troy Robertson”
“Distilled, aged, and bottled by F&R Distilling Co. Fort Worth, Texas | Est. 2010”
Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.
In 2009, Troy Robertson set out to visit the Texas distillery, Garrison Brothers, on a mission to explore and learn the details required for diving into the whiskey business. Mr. Robertson had grown weary of his career in finance with the oil/gas industry and was ready to set out on a new adventure – whiskey production. Unbeknownst to Mr. Robertson at the time, another local man from Fort Worth, Texas, was looking forward to a visit to Garrison Brothers with the same goal. Garrison Brothers shared with Mr. Robertson that a gentleman by the name of Leonard Firestone was visiting very soon with the same goal in mind – leave behind his career in cable broadcasting to pursue the world of whiskey. The rest, as they say, is history! Firestone & Robertson Distillery would official begin business in 2010.
Shortly after beginning their journey, Robertson and Firestone set out to find an individual who had the background and skill set necessary to help them distill a uniquely different whiskey. Enter Rob Arnold, a doctorial biochemistry student from Kentucky. Mr. Arnold shared the dreams of Mr. Robertson and Mr. Firestone of getting his feet wet in the whiskey business. After meeting with Robertson and Firestone, an offer was made which would make Arnold the distillery’s first Head Distiller. Arnold’s first order of business was to locate a native yeast strain from Texas, capable of fermenting whiskey. After much research, testing, and tasting, the trio settled on a yeast strain that was discovered on a pecan nut – a strain that would truly set their product apart from other distillers.
Firestone & Robertson Distillery would release their first expression in 2012. Their first release would be a blend of sourced whiskies known as TX Blended Whiskey. Business was good and their TX Blended Whiskey would eventually win Best American Craft Whiskey. Now that the distillery was up and running, Firestone & Robertson Distillery would begin barreling its pecan yeast bourbon for future release. They would release the first bottling of their TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey in December 2016. Demand quickly surpassed supply and the team decided to purchase land on an old golf course where they would build their state-of-the-art distillery affectionally known as Whiskey Ranch.
Firestone & Robertson Distillery now proudly produces a number of products at its Fort Worth, Texas Whiskey Ranch including TX Blended Whiskey, TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey, TX Texas Straight Barrel Proof Bourbon Whiskey, and two cask finished selections using Sherry and Tawny Port casks.
Check out the Firestone & Robertson website for more information on the unique cowboy leather bottle tops, distillery tours, and much more! Additional details on the distillery’s history, the science behind their pecan yeast, and the evolution of their products can be found in the article entitled A Dream Distilled by Zac Crain in D Magazine – February 2018 Edition.
TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey
TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made from a mash bill of at least 51% Texas yellow dent corn, Texas soft red winter wheat, and barley. The distillery uses a proprietary yeast strain discovered on a Texas pecan to set its bourbon whiskey apart from other bourbons on the market. After distillation, Firestone & Robertson ages their bourbon in 53-gallon, new American oak barrels, for a minimum of 4 years in the sweltering Texas heat. TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey has had a highly decorated 2020 by being awarded Gold at the International Spirits Challenge, Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and being given a rating of 94 points (Excellent – Highly Recommended) by the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
Tasting Date/Vessel: October 4, 2020 – Neat in Glencairn Glass
Christian: Oh man, the nose on this bourbon is nice and sweet. Instantly, my mouth begins to water, begging for a sip. As I swirl the glass, I pick up subtle hints of brown sugar, raisins, wheat, and a very light maraschino cherries. The nose on this pour is absolutely fantastic. As the glass sits momentarily, a slight tobacco aroma begins to build. Water really adds a surprising element to this bourbon. The nose takes on a slight hint of bananas and caramel, reminiscent of bananas foster.
Mike: Light ethanol initially fills the nose but a gentle swirl releases aromas of dried golden raisins. A sweetness emerges, reminiscent of bottled apple or pear juice. Moving my nose in and then pulling back slightly, the essence of crushed peanuts magnifies. A very pleasant blossomy honeysuckle perfume is present as I move the glass in a circular motion around my nose.
Christian: As I take my first sip, I notice a mouth feel that produces a light coating on my tongue. The first splash of bourbon brings the taste of tobacco and leather. As I continue to drink, these flavors are accompanied by a nice addition of oak, pepper spice, and light honey. Water really softens the mouth feel considerably. This flavor profile is prominently made of oak with a hint of toasted marshmallow and leather.
Mike: Bitter chocolate and tobacco, with a hint of oak, develop nicely on the tip of the tongue. Light and crisp on the middle with the flavor characteristics of fresh brewed tea. A mild peppery bite on the back with a savory cigar box flavor remaining on the palate.
Christian: TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a nice long finish that creates a warming hug deep down in your chest. A slight bitterness of oak remains in the forefront during the finish and brings a dryness to the pour. As the flavor profile begins to disappear, I notice a nice spearmint flavor moving forward – a refreshing finish to this Texas bourbon. Water tames the finish slightly, however, my tongue is still tingling from the spice. I notice that the finish evolves a bit into a mixture of oak, cherries, and spearmint.
Mike: Medium finish. Very fresh finish in the mouth, sweet and minty, like a smooth spearmint tingle. There is mild pumpkin pie spice that is present then slowly fades to light oak and tobacco.
Christian: TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an enjoyable and strong introduction to the Firestone & Robertson Distillery. The nose is sweet and hits my desired profile as is evident by the instant mouth watering response. The taste profile is decent, however it seemed to fall a little short of the build up created by the sensational nose. The finish really recovers any shortcomings of the palate taste profiles. The surprising spearmint finish is absolutely refreshing and pleasant. Priced at $39.95, TX Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is fairly priced and offers solid value. An added bonus is that the bourbon appears to be readily available at many North Carolina ABC stores. In the future, I will not have any issues with adding, and keeping, a bottle of TX Bourbon Whiskey on my bar to enjoy and share with friends.
Rating: 3.25 Rickhouses
Mike: This is a nice and easy sipping bourbon. Very nice flavors, but its youngness stands out sometimes. The addition of water brought out some notes of banana cream pie in the nose, sweet tobacco in the mouth, and softened the flavors overall. This is priced at $40, which is about average for a craft distillery and is quickly becoming the median price point for a respectable whiskey. I enjoyed this neat and it mixed well in an Old Fashioned.
Rating: 3.0 Rickhouses