Whiskey, History and Provenance

by Brennen Anderson
Texas is the second largest spirits market in the country, and Fort Worth is the Texas-most city. It’s about time we got our own whiskey distillery. Meet Firestone and Robertson Distilling Co.

We’ll start with the important stuff, first: the whiskey. For the smell, breathe simultaneously through your nose and your mouth to uncover the sweet vanilla and caramel scents. Then, with the aroma fresh on our senses, we’ll sip. The vanilla and caramel flavors pop smoothly as the full-bodied flavor lights up every part of your palate. The whiskey finishes with a creamy smoothness, leaving a comfortable warmth in its wake. Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, the crafters of this new blended whiskey, guide me through the tasting, using their connoisseurship to bring the drink to life.

This whiskey is a uniquely North Texas product.

“We captured our own yeast from a ranch in North Texas, from a pecan nut,” explained Robertson.

Theirs is the only whiskey distillery in North Texas. The area weather will lend to the whiskey’s provenance, Firestone explained, imparting a flavor profile distinct from whiskeys made anywhere else. “It’s in our DNA,” said Robertson. “It’s what makes us different.”

Firestone and Robertson’s connection was serendipitous. They were both successful entrepreneurs — Firestone in communications, Robertson in gas and oil — who shared a passion for learning. In Robertson’s words, “I’m a fanatic about how things work.” They met by way of touring a craft distillery in Austin.

“We immediately discovered we had the same vision,” said Firestone.

That vision manifested as Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., operating out of a renovated warehouse near downtown Fort Worth. The building was constructed in 1927, and in their renovations, the pair sought to preserve as much of the old building as possible, using reclaimed sprinkler pipe and wood to make shelves. They even employ a guard dog (in addition to their state-of-the-art alarm systems), adding to the prohibition-era romance.

A strong sense of history permeates the pair’s entire endeavor. Whiskey, after all, is a drink deeply grounded in history, spanning millennia. From the copper pot stills to the traditional 53 gallon barrels, Firestone and Robertson honor whiskey’s historicity at every turn.

The distillery has already scheduled events, including several wedding receptions and will begin hosting tasting and tours in late May or early June.