Whiskey Made in Fort Worth Sells Fast

Two men open first distillery in Cowtown

By Scott Gordon
|  Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012  |  Updated 12:25 AM CDT
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A distillery in downtown Fort Worth is brewing whiskey the old-fashioned way.

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

A distillery in downtown Fort Worth is brewing whiskey the old-fashioned way.

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Two whiskey lovers are creating their own spirits in Fort Worth's first legal distillery, and their handcrafted bottles are in such demand that many liquor stores are already sold out.

Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson decided to start the F&R Distilling Co. more than three years ago.

"It did take us awhile, but it's well worth the wait," Robertson said.

They set out to capture the right flavor by doing everything the old-fashioned way -- even making their own yeast from Texas pecan trees.

"We thought Texas, being a huge whiskey state -- and very little of it made here -- it just made a lot of sense," Robertson said.

They bought custom-made copper stills in Kentucky and added 1,000-gallon fermentation tanks and everything else they need in an old warehouse just south of downtown Fort Worth.

Slowly, they perfected the process and the taste.

Even the bottle tops are handmade, using scrap leather from cowboy boots.

"We have elephant, we have lizard, we have giraffe, we have ostrich," Robertson said.

They import the cork from Portugal.

"That ultimately makes a unique cap," he said.

A marketing firm helped design the label, "TX."

"So far it's been tremendous," Robertson said. "We weren't quite prepared for the response we got."

One day, if business keeps up, they'd like to expand beyond North Texas. But for now, they're cautious about getting too big, too fast.

"(We'll) just keep doing what we're doing. Stick to our knitting. Make good whiskey for folks," Robertson said.

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