By Patruus Inebrius [email protected]
As I reviewed the bourbon selections at the DFW Westin hotel bar, I noticed an unfamiliar amber bottle with a straight stocky bottle with a high straight neck with a fashionable cork. The large TX on the bottle made it stand out a bit, but it was about the only one that I didn’t recognize as one in my collection, so it became my prime target for an impromptu taste.
A quick query to the bartender and he pulled the unopened bottle from the top shelf and chatted that it was a local distillery’s product blend. The full name on the bottle was TX Blended Whiskey, a blended spirit from Firestone and Robertson craft distillery in Irving, TX. There wasn’t an age on the bottle and it didn’t specifically call itself a bourbon, though the distillers website did lean in that direction by throwing the term about a bit.
A conservative pour and $14 later (Woodfords Reserve cost more at this captive-audience in-house pub) and I gave it a lingering sniff. The bottle and name had me suspecting it was a young product that would turn out to be an alcoholic hooch meant to take advantage of the bourbon boom and lure drinkers via Texas pride. To my pleasure, that wasn’t the case.
While crisp oak and vanilla notes overtook the initial alcohol vapors after a sniff, I still held the impression that would prove an immature beverage. But a swirl in the glass showed that it clung to the sides well, giving me some hope.
A sip revealed strong caramel favors along with some chocolate notes and a light pear flavor. To my happy surprise, it smoothed itself out to a remarkably gentle finish. Not what I was expecting from a regional bottle.
The description on their website reveals the thought and aim of TX:
TX Blended Whiskey
We explored numerous American blended whiskeys, but felt they lacked the complexity and character of many of the highly regarded and award winning Scottish, Irish and Canadian whiskey blends.
As a craft distiller, we have the perfect opportunity to innovate, so we set out to create an American blended whiskey that would rival the best Scottish, Irish and Canadian blends. We spent over two years sampling an enormous number of whiskeys, determining the characteristics of our favorites, and then experimenting with different combinations to capture an even better, more robust flavor.
- Color: Auburn
- Nose: Vanilla bean, oak and pear
- Taste: Honey butter, banana, caramel and coffee
- Finish: Long, smooth and slightly sweet
So it was quite a welcome discovery for a hotel bar!
Hints of spice, sweet notes and a nice smooth finish raised my estimation of this brand considerably. I found it to be a very easy sipping whiskey, leading me to recommend it to a few others at the conference and even indulge in a second taste the following evening.
My interest piqued, I checked a couple of the online liquor stores to see if I could just order a bottle from the net and have it delivered back home, but it’s looking like I may have to grab one of the company rental cars to seek out a bottle locally and wedge it into my overstuffed baggage.