Photos: Inside the Largest Distillery West of the Mississippi
A spectacle only possible in North Texas, the Whiskey Ranch will be fully operational by April.
Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. claims to be the very first craft bourbon and whiskey distillery in North Texas. The Fort Worth-based company, which released their TX Blended Whiskey in 2012 and TX Straight Bourbon in 2016, can now claim another superlative: being the largest distillery west of the Mississippi.
A Texas-sized dream come true for the co-founders Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, they can now expand operations and increase production.
The Whiskey Ranch, also located in Fort Worth, Texas, not far from their first downtown location, lays on a sprawling 112-acres that was once home to a historic golf course. Whiskey Ranch opened in November 2017 and will be fully operational by April 2018, producing 40 barrels a day and 40 bottles a minute. This is a lot of whiskey and bourbon.
At the Ranch House, you’ll find the Barrel Breezeway, barrel racks that mimic the rick house on property, leading to the Tavern and the Oak Room. The tavern is the traditional bar room where you can get a taste of the bourbon and whiskey and visit with the mixologist who can whip up both original and classic cocktails like the Whiskey Smash or a Pecan Old Fashioned.
Right outside is the Back Porch, where you can relax in chairs made from the whiskey barrels and enjoy sprawling views of downtown Ft. Worth beside an outdoor fireplace. The vibe is undeniably down-home and cozy with a Texas twist.
The Still House will greet you with twenty-foot-high sliding barn doors that open up to the even more impressive 45-foot copper column still. It is this piece of stunning copper equipment that allows F&R to call themselves the largest distillery west of the Mississippi." Guests who decide to take a tour can also see the world’s first "doubler" with site windows that are quite mesmerizing.
Back at the Ranch House guests can also learn about the details that go into the bottle designs, recalling the materials and patterns of the early pioneer days of the North Texas cattle town. (In the store on-site, you can bring in material from your favorite old pair of boots to customize your own caps for bottles.)
As for the whiskeys themselves, the TX Blended Whiskey is quite velvety with aromatic notes of vanilla and caramel. Similarly smooth is the TX Straight Bourbon, a wheated bourbon made from locally sourced grain and corn. One whiff and sip and you’ll get notes of dark fruit like raisins and prunes with tones of caramelized sugars, cinnamon and pecan.
Both spirits are distributed in Texas and 13 other states.