Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link at the bottom of this review, our site receives a small sponsorship payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Friends Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson founded the distillery that bears their name in their garages in Fort Worth, Texas more than a decade ago. Their timing was good, coinciding with a worldwide whiskey boom, and it wasn’t long before they left their garages and moved into what they called Whiskey Ranch on 112 acres that had been a country club.
In 2019, the duo sold Firestone & Robertson Distilling and Whiskey Ranch to Pernod Ricard, a liquor megabrand that owns Aberlour, Jameson, Glenlivit, Chivas, Rabbit Hole, Midleton Very Rare, Jefferson’s, Redbreast and Green Spot, among other brands. . But Firestone and Robertson, the men, are still involved in the day-to-day operations, and their interest in pushing the boundaries of what Texan whiskey can be is still embedded in the culture.
The distillery’s regular output includes five whiskeys and three canned whiskey cocktails at this point, but they’re not just stopping there. The TX Experimental Series, which debuted in 2020, already included TX Experimental Rye and TX High Rye Texas Straight Bourbon before the latest release.
The third label in the series, the TX Experimental Blended Straight Bourbon, is a blend of three whiskies: a four-year-old rye bourbon finished in Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks; a four-year-old wheat bourbon matured in new charred oak barrels; and a two-year-old wheat bourbon finished in new maple-smoked charred oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: TX Experimental Series Blended Straight Bourbon
Vital Stats: Blend of three bourbons, the ratio of each is undisclosed; 100 degrees/50% alcohol by volume; only 1,000 bottles available, at the Whiskey Ranch in Forth Worth, Texas; $40 for half-bottles of 375 ml.
Appearance: This whiskey is darker than expected, given the ageing. I would say it’s almost an Oloroso sherry color. Decent legs on the side of the glass as well.
Nose: A sweet, syrupy bourbon nose greets you almost immediately. Think molasses, vanilla and honey.
Palace: Where the nose was sweet, the palate is spicy. Wood comes to the fore on your tongue, and if there is such a thing as “Texas terroir” for whiskey, this has it. What I mean by that is a whiskey that has aged rapidly in a warm climate, taking on noticeable characteristics from the barrels. It is spicy and woody, with hints of citrus, nuts and cinnamon. It has a soft and velvety mouthfeel.
TX says the goal of his experimental series is to focus on blends and finishes, and interesting blends of these whiskeys. This release certainly checks all the boxes on those fronts, blending together a trio of whiskeys that each had their own distinctive style of finish. It’s a fun whiskey with a good story at an attractive price, especially for the half bottle. Unfortunately, unless you’re in Forth Worth, you probably won’t be able to get this build. Still, it gives an indication of where TX is taking things and what kind of whiskeys they’re excited about. Sign me up for more of this.