Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
You know America has its priorities set straight when it passes the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, a decade before the Food and Drug Act. Caring more about your alcoholic beverage not killing you is definitely more important than worrying about what is in your food. To be “bottled-in-bond” means a whiskey is made by one distiller at one distillery during a single distillation season. The whiskey also ages for a minimum of four years in a government bonded warehouse, and gets bottled at 100 proof.
Whiskey can be 100 proof without being bottled-in-bond, but meeting the requirements ensures everyone gets a high-quality spirit. Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. has released a bottled-in-bond straight bourbon under their TX Whiskey label. The TX Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon is a single barrel wheated bourbon, so you will not find any rye in the mash bill. With Master Distiller Dr. Rob Arnold at the helm, each bottle represents the landscape of Texas and his research into terroir.
Aside from tasting the TX Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond Texas Bourbon, my favorite aspect was opening the bottle. The label and bottle themselves are pretty generic, but the bottle stopper on the other hand is quite remarkable. Where Blanton’s has the derby horse sculpture to spell out their name, each stopper for TX Whiskey is topped with recycled leather from boots or saddles. No cap is the same, and mine looks like black alligator skin.
Tasting Notes: TX Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond Texas Bourbon
Vital Stats: 50% ABV, 100 proof. A single barrel, bottled-in-bond, Texas straight bourbon. The mash bill consists of corn, wheat, and barley grown in Texas by a fourth-generation farmer. The yeast strain used is proprietary and captured from a Texas Pecan. Available in Texas. 750ml $49.99.
Appearance: Deep amber/burnt umber
Nose: The first note I get is flossed sugar; not blue or pink cotton candy, but spun unadulterated granulated sugar. Vanilla bean comes through next followed by an array of aromas. The whiskey offers everything from a spice cabinet to a forest floor. On the earthen side, I get damp mulch and freshly milled lumber. Musky grain with walnut and almond adds a nuttiness in the background. Black peppercorn gives off a savory touch, but ginger and nutmeg balance with the fruity elements. At the end of the nose is a fruit bouquet of ripe wine grapes, raisins, and black cherry mixed with molasses.
Palate: This whiskey is perplexing as it drinks like wine. It has wood, spice, fruit, and terroir. Each element reveals itself on different parts of the tongue. I first tasted raisins and oak, but also black cherry and peppercorn all at once. The mouthfeel is chewy. There is a bit of soil or earth to it like it encapsulates the land it is made from. For instance, I know what Oregon soil tastes like, but this is different. Before it moves to the sweeter side, tobacco peeks through. The whiskey finishes like a chewy gingersnap cookie with molasses, fresh ginger, and nutmeg.