Texas: big, bold, brash. At least, that’s what Texans claim and the bumper stickers adamantly repeat and affirm. Texas is a land of many people trying to prove many things to many others, and to be heard one must be big, bold, and brash. Hence, my reticence/reluctance/hesitation at tasting the bottle before me, regardless how attractive the packaging. I had a specific expectation, particularly with the white, capital letters on the bottle declaring TX.
Obviously, I knew what they stood for—TEXAS.
My taste buds trembled. They, as well as I, feared a rusty spur-spiked elixir that felt it necessary to declare, big and bold, “I AM BOURBON! I AM BOURBON! WA-HOO!”
I sighed. The duty must be done, so I pulled the lovely cap out. (I would later discover they are all handmade, usually from old boots.) Rather than pour directly into a glass—why sully a clean glass with racing fuel – I tentatively leaned and sniffed the neck of the bottle.
I glanced around. Confused. Was that honey? Melted, sweet Normandy butter? Roasted pecans? Something so sublime one could not be accused of being pretentious for using the term “ethereal” to describe the nose.
Confused—where were those dirty, manure stained cowboy boots kicking my nose to a pulp?
I inhaled again. Yes, ethereal.
Quickly, I poured and looked for the distiller. Curiously, the distiller was rather difficult to discover. Then, eventually, there it was, the Firestone & Robertson Distillery. Okay, so now I knew. Research later. Taste sooner.
Again, I glanced around confused. It was delicious.
I sipped and enjoyed. Research could wait for the second glass, or even the third.
So, eventually, on the fourth glass, I discovered that the Firestone & Robertson Distillery was established in 2010, though it began bottling in 2012, and is housed in a pre-Prohibition era warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas. Founders Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, along with Head distiller, Rob Arnold, went through a long, arduous process (an in-depth explanation of the exact process, along with lots of technical jargon can be found on their website) in a quest for a distiller’s yeast, eventually settling on a unique strain derived from a pecan tree, Texas’s state tree.
It’s seems they chose correctly, for in 2013, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, TX Blended won a Double gold in the” Best American Craft Whiskey” category.
Grandfather would call this a “lovin’ whiskey.” And I would distinctly agree with him. Even if you’re alone, you’re lovin’ the world, life, the glass in your hand, but, more specifically, what’s in that glass.
Appearance: A bright glowing auburn.
Nose: Soft vanilla. Hints of smooth orange honey and pecan.
Taste: Subtle and sublime. Notes of butterscotch. Cinnamon. Scalded sweet cream butter. And clover honey. Delicious. No burn. No bite. Finish is mellow and smooth. It simply, slowly dissipates off the tongue and elegantly disappears. Darn near perfection.
Simple—this is a great whiskey, but a dangerous one. Dangerous because it goes down so smooth, you’ll be down half a bottle before you realize it. Yes, it’s that good. And I don’t care what people say about Texans, or what Texans say about themselves and their state—all you need to know is Firestone & Robertson TX Blended Whiskey is delicious. Get some. Wa-hoo!
FINAL SCORE: 94/100