This past weekend, we had a couple friends from Dallas come over to the great Fort Worth. Of course we were going to bring them to some of our favorite spots around town but we also wanted to do something that would be new to all of us.
Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company is located in Fort Worth. Perhaps its more familiar as TX Whiskey. Last year at the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, we were heavily introduced to TX Whiskey at the Desserts After Dark event where each dessert and cocktail incorporated TX Whiskey. Let’s just say, I’ve been eyeing this tour for about a year and this was the perfect opportunity with the perfect group. What a hot spot for tours! Only offered on Saturday’s, we had to book our spots weeks in advance. (Note, there are no tours in some summer months so if you’re interested, plan ahead.)
Upon arrival, one would never guess that 901 Vickery is a distillery. In the old Fort Worth district, the location housed a moving company from the 1920’s to the late 1970’s. The building has sat untouched until 2009. That’s right, untouched for thirty plus years! Inside, the facility has been completely redone, featuring amazing brick exposure and woodwork, re-purposing materials in every way possible and holding an amazing secret, hand made Texas bourbon whiskey.
If you’re in for an in-depth experience learning about bourbon and whiskey, this is your place. Don’t expect this to be a quick tour, it will last for an hour and a half and provide amazing information on the history, process and production including time to ask questions. Our tour started out learning how F&R Distillery began and the building choice, history and design. Next, we moved into the actual distillery. Surrounded by hundreds, hold on – thousands of barrels we began the discussion on bourbon. What makes a bourbon? A minimum of two years aging in an oak barrel, needs to be made in the United States and made with at least 51% corn (the rest of the recipe is up to you).
Next, we moved on to learning what ingredients TX Whiskey uses to make their bourbon, the fermentation process, the significance of barrels, the importance of the two large copper pot stills and a column still right down to the bottling. The entire process involves no technology. There’s no sensors, gauges, only a device to regulate temperature and a head distiller from Kentucky whose family has been in the business for over a hundred years. Resources are everything and it can’t get much better than that. TX Whiskey proves this with their chosen Texas ingredients and production process.
What makes TX Whiskey stand out? The taste, definitely, but let’s talk about these corks! The corks grab a lot of attention. It’s the variety. It’s showing that each bottle and cork is unique. First, teaming up with M.L. Leddy’s in Fort Worth, each cork is topped with a unique leather or skin (i.e. snake). Within the tour, we stopped by the area where they make the corks. For free, anyone can come in and drop off a piece of material to make the cork top. This is the wall where they have some of their favorite and most memorable (and unique) material in which cork toppers have been made. What a personal gift to have!
Throughout the entire tour, you really get a feel of how important Fort Worth and Texas is to this business. Firestone and Robertson Distilling built this company based on Fort Worth and for Fort Worth. Texas through and through. From what we were told, there’s a lot of exciting things to come, a bigger and new location, fresh opportunities and lots more whiskey on the way!
What’s your favorite Whiskey drink?