We're always looking for a great Texas-based adult beverage story. If we have a bias, it is a greater interest in people who risk everything based on a devotion to a style of liquor, wine, beer, cider, or sake. Our state is full of entrepreneurs, lawyers, and doctors who have peeled off a small portion of their fortunes to dabble in a passing interest in alcohol. Many of these go bust as soon as they figure out that it takes more of their time than they wish to give. There are exceptions – people like Richard Becker at Becker Vineyards, Ed Auler at Fall Creek Vineyards, or Lewis Dickson at La Cruz de Comal Winery. These people have put skin in the game because they love it. But there's also what one farmer in West Texas calls the "dead vineyard tour," where he takes you to all the places that have been abandoned by the bored rich.
So I got an email press release from a marketing firm pushing the brand-new Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company – a press release that makes a much bigger deal out of the company's business successes than its liquor. However, in a bow to the owners' Texan-ness, that release tells how they "always felt more at home in jeans and boots than in a suit and cap-toed shoes." I sensed another partnership of bored dudes trying to figure out what to do with their excess cash; red flag time.
Well, I was wrong. Yes, these guys drive fancy cars and wear very expensive boots, but, oh my God, their TX Blended Whiskey ($40) is some of the best American whiskey I've ever tasted. Sure, they indulge in little decorative details, like handmaking every single bottle cap from cowboy boot leather. But it's what's inside the bottle that counts. For fans of whiskey with huge amounts of vanilla and honey aromas, this is your next brand. Those aromas make TX an ideal candidate for drinking with barbecue. TX runs 82 proof, so it's a shade stronger than usual. Add just a touch of water, and the aromas bloom out of the glass like a work of art. TX is available at Twin Liquors, Spec's, and most other fine liquor stores; see the Firestone & Robertson website for local retail outlets.
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