TX Straight Bourbon is made by F&R Distilling Co. of Fort Worth, Texas. The “F&R” stands for Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, the proprietors of the distillery. I was first exposed to these two distillers at an ADI meeting at the Starlight Distillery in Floyds Knobs, Indiana about a decade ago. They gave a talk on what they were doing, including collecting wild yeast from around Texas to determine which yeast would make the best whiskey. They settled on a yeast collected from a pecan grove and started using this yeast to make their whiskey. At the time, I remember thinking that I would like to taste that whiskey. Now, I have the chance with this bottle of Bourbon.
The Bourbon is made using Texas-grown yellow dent corn and red winter wheat. Photographs on their website show 53-gallon barrels in a warehouse using the Stitzel barrel rack system. The whiskey is four years old and bottled at barrel proof. The Bourbon has a lovely light amber color. Misters Firestone and Robertson seem to be doing things right in my book. I am curious about barrel entry proof – I suspect it is lower than 125. They have made a very good Bourbon. At four years old, it tastes better to me than many six or eight-year-old Bourbons.
TX Texas Straight Bourbon
Age: 4 Years Old
Nose: A little corn, lots of sweet vanilla and caramel with some ripe pears, baking spices and sweet oak – not bitter tannic oak.
Taste: Caramel, pears, pepper and a lot of the sweet oak. Not bitter with tannins, but very dry. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the caramel comes forward and the pears are joined by a little lemon zest tartness. When tasted with a pecan the lemon zest gets stronger and the caramel steps back.
Finish: Long and dry with lots of oak and pepper spice. The cranberry added a little lemon note to the finish and lengthened the finish for a long time. Very nice finish with the cranberry. The pecan disappointed me. The finish was shorter and not overly complex with dry oak and only a hint of pepper.
I am pairing this Bourbon with a Drew Estate Corona Pequena Shade wrapper cigar. I find the smoke to be very earthy with dried grass, tobacco and a hint of dried fruit that I am hoping will pair well with the fruitiness of the Bourbon. The Bourbon added a little vanilla and some dry notes of wood smoke to the cigar’s smoke. The cigar smoke made the Bourbon a little more spicy and dry on the finish. A very nice pairing that I will try again as an after-dinner pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller