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View Full Version : Fort Worth's first whiskey distillery



sw2geeks
03-20-2012, 02:43 AM
Got to check out Fort Worth's first whiskey distillery and shoot a couple of videos of the process.


https://vimeo.com/38581899
https://vimeo.com/38581899


https://vimeo.com/38581304
https://vimeo.com/38581304

stereo.pete
03-20-2012, 09:24 AM
Nice, thanks of sharing. My wife has family in Fort Worth and next time we go to visit I will be picking up a bottle.

sw2geeks
03-20-2012, 11:17 AM
They will start selling a blended whiskey here soon, they are just waiting for the labels to be approved by the government. But it will be 3 to 4 years for the first bottles of straight bourbon will be ready. They are using boot leather scraps too cover the corks so each cork is unique with different colors and hides.

99Limited
03-20-2012, 02:52 PM
I wonder where they get their water because when it comes to whiskey, it's all about the water. Jack Daniels distillery isn't located in the middle of nowhere because it's pretty there, it because of the water. Same for Maker's Mark and Jim Beam. They all use water filtered through limestone.

DeepCSweede
03-20-2012, 03:02 PM
They use filtered agave and PBR water which gives off a very distinct flavor - LOL

Eamon Burke
03-20-2012, 03:21 PM
OMG! This is the best news of the day.

I know what I want a case of for my birthday in 2016.

Eamon Burke
03-20-2012, 03:22 PM
I wonder where they get their water because when it comes to whiskey, it's all about the water. Jack Daniels distillery isn't located in the middle of nowhere because it's pretty there, it because of the water. Same for Maker's Mark and Jim Beam. They all use water filtered through limestone.

This is a good point. The water here is the pits. The water near Austin is fabulous. Really, we get city water and my wife and I pay out of pocket for water.

sw2geeks
03-20-2012, 05:28 PM
They are using Fort Worth city water that they are filtering. They said they did water test and the water was fine.

jmforge
03-20-2012, 05:38 PM
And I suspect that it will cost significantly more than comparable or even better hooch from the traditional distillers in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.:doublethumbsup: His description of the mash bill indicates that they are trying to copy Makers Mark or Weller. Those are really the only two major bourbons that use wheat instead of rye or more barley. That begs the question of whether their super secret pecan derived yeast will be able to outperform a couple of hundred years of distilling experience. Also one thing about the water in the Bluegrass region is that it isn't just "filtered" through limestone, but it also has a decent limestone content to it. That is the reason for the mythology surrounding Kentucky as a horse breeding region. The story goes that horses are essentially taking calcium "supplements" from the first day they drink the water.

sw2geeks
03-20-2012, 05:55 PM
They did say that this was going to be on the sweeter side. Here is a link to the story we ran (http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/03/16/3815879/waiting-for-whiskey-at-fort-worths.html).

jmforge
03-20-2012, 10:45 PM
I am honestly not sure what using a pot still really does for you these days other than allowing you to say that you use a pot still. As far as i know, Woodford Reserve is the only distiller in Kentucky that uses pot stills for their entire product line. Makers Mark may have some at the distillery in Loretto for show or for their higher end products, but even the folks in Kentucky are suspicious that they are having some of their distilling done elsewhere else to their recipe because there was a HUGE increase in the footprint of that brand a number of years back after Hiram Walker sold the brand to Domenq Allied in 1987, apparently without a corresponding increase in size of the physical plant. I think that bit expansion happened in the mid 90's. That is when you started seeing Makers Mark billboards down here. As far as I know, the other distillers are using column stills even for their super premium products.

99Limited
03-20-2012, 11:33 PM
That article hit on something I was wondering about, the weather. The Dallas area seems to have two seasons, a fairly mild winter which doesn't last very long and then a really hot summer which last too long. These guys are staking their whole reputation and money on an unknown aging process created by the climate in TX. From what I understand the aging process really depends on the temperature changes throughout the year to get the whiskey to work the oak barrels. This is where the various flavors and coloring develop. I guess there are other small batch distillers with a similar situation that do okay. Good luck to these guys.

stereo.pete
03-21-2012, 10:21 AM
How can these guys support a business when their primary product won't be available for sales for 4 years? FYI: Not sarcastic, just genuinely curious how one can continue to operate a business like that.

sw2geeks
03-21-2012, 10:59 AM
They also bought some proof barrels from other distillers so they can start selling their own blended whiskey until their own bourbon is ready.

Eamon Burke
03-21-2012, 09:15 PM
In the meantime, you can't just start distilling your own hooch! You gotta get permits FIRST.

Crothcipt
03-21-2012, 09:38 PM
to legally sell it. You can be a craftsman that makes their own. Once you accept a red penny or take trade for it then you need permits. Each area though it is different. So by this thinking you can make some hooch, and put it into storage until you get the proper permits to sell it. It is a fine line that will cost more money than most think is worth. Being Ft.Worth I'm sure you need to have the permits first.

jmforge
03-21-2012, 10:31 PM
Ehhhhhh, I think that making your own hooch is only "legal" in the same way that weed was "legal" in the Netherlands back in the old days before the decided to tax the stuff. Kind of a variation on the don't ask, don't tell thing, To my the best of my knowledge, it is still a Federal offense to make untaxed liquor PERIOD. Last time I checked, you cannot own a still with a capacity of over one gallon and it can only be used for making extracts, essential oils, etc. You cannot as a matter of law distill alcohol for consumption without permits and paying taxes. In states with "state stores" folks who are licensed by the feds to run "distillery pubs" have to sell their own product to the state and then buy it back at retail in order to serve it in the same building where it was distilled. The permits may be easier to get for small operators, but the rules are not even close to being that same for home brewers or even commercial brewpubs, etc.
to legally sell it. You can be a craftsman that makes their own. Once you accept a red penny or take trade for it then you need permits. Each area though it is different. So by this thinking you can make some hooch, and put it into storage until you get the proper permits to sell it. It is a fine line that will cost more money than most think is worth. Being Ft.Worth I'm sure you need to have the permits first.

jmforge
03-21-2012, 10:37 PM
Have you ever spent any time in Kentucky in the summer? LOL. Kentucky gets colder int he winter, but Dallas is not warm in the winter by my standards. From what I have heard and read especially about Scotch, changes in humidity can have about as much effect as temperature. You can get those in Texas big time. In Texas, with long period of hot dry weather, you actually might lose more booze to the 'angels share" as it is absorbed into the sides of the barrel as the outside dries out.
That article hit on something I was wondering about, the weather. The Dallas area seems to have two seasons, a fairly mild winter which doesn't last very long and then a really hot summer which last too long. These guys are staking their whole reputation and money on an unknown aging process created by the climate in TX. From what I understand the aging process really depends on the temperature changes throughout the year to get the whiskey to work the oak barrels. This is where the various flavors and coloring develop. I guess there are other small batch distillers with a similar situation that do okay. Good luck to these guys.

99Limited
03-22-2012, 08:37 PM
Have you ever spent any time in Kentucky in the summer? LOL. Kentucky gets colder int he winter, but Dallas is not warm in the winter by my standards. From what I have heard and read especially about Scotch, changes in humidity can have about as much effect as temperature. You can get those in Texas big time. In Texas, with long period of hot dry weather, you actually might lose more booze to the 'angels share" as it is absorbed into the sides of the barrel as the outside dries out.

How about 30 years, born and raised in Kentucky and another 17 years in Tennessee.

jmforge
03-22-2012, 11:38 PM
Okay, so you are aware that the bluegrass region in the summer is a miserably hot place? :biggrin:
How about 30 years, born and raised in Kentucky and another 17 years in Tennessee.

Eamon Burke
03-29-2012, 12:08 AM
Yeah, DFW is hot as hell. It gets about 110 here right and regular, not a cloud to be seen, just the sun whooping your ass all day long. I am from the South Texas Coast, and it gets HOT and Humid, but it's at least got a sea breeze.

I am skeptical myself. I had a friend ask if it can legally be labeled "bourbon", or if it has to be called "bourbon style whiskey" since it's from outside of Bourbon County?


Either way, I just hope they make something worth imbibing. I was so excited about Rahr and Sons Brewery, and then I figured out their Ugly Pug lager is a dark beer for people who hate stout, and it's displaced Guinness on everyone's menu. BOO. Also, their IPA is one of the most miserable beers I've ever had. Their winter warmer, aged in bourbon barrels, however--worth waiting all year for!!

jmforge
03-29-2012, 06:54 PM
Eamon, a lot of the bourbon is not made in Bourbon County nowadays. The original Bourbon County was broken up a number of times and now covers 34 of the current 160+ counties in Kentucky. My grandfather told me that they have so many tiny counties because that wanted for the county seat to be within a days ride of anywhere in the county and in the mountains, that is not very far. With that said, they make bourbon in Indiana nowadays for sure. The stuff has to be made a specific way to carry that name on the label, but it can be made anywhere in the US. The reason that Tennessee sour mash brands like Jack Daniels and George Dickel cannot be labeled as bourbon is because of the extra step where they pour the stuff through the maple charcoal filter setup. Bourbon also to be aged in new oak barrels by law, so that is why the Scotch distillers have bought the used bourbon aging barrels for a long time.
Yeah, DFW is hot as hell. It gets about 110 here right and regular, not a cloud to be seen, just the sun whooping your ass all day long. I am from the South Texas Coast, and it gets HOT and Humid, but it's at least got a sea breeze.

I am skeptical myself. I had a friend ask if it can legally be labeled "bourbon", or if it has to be called "bourbon style whiskey" since it's from outside of Bourbon County?


Either way, I just hope they make something worth imbibing. I was so excited about Rahr and Sons Brewery, and then I figured out their Ugly Pug lager is a dark beer for people who hate stout, and it's displaced Guinness on everyone's menu. BOO. Also, their IPA is one of the most miserable beers I've ever had. Their winter warmer, aged in bourbon barrels, however--worth waiting all year for!!

Eamon Burke
03-29-2012, 09:39 PM
Thanks Joe!

sw2geeks
03-30-2012, 12:02 AM
Yea, my understanding is that it has to be aged two years in new oak to be Bourbon