Sales of whiskey in the US rose by 8.1% in 2017, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, as distilleries are popping up from coast to coast. Texas is getting a reputation for its whiskey distilleries, which include Balcones Distilling, based in Waco, but there is a new kid on the block who is causing a bit of a stir, Fort Worth’s Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. The label was founded by Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson in 2010 - a pair of friends with a shared love of whiskey and vision for their distillery. It took the pair two years of research and development before they launched TX Blended Whiskey, and it took the country by storm, winning the “Best American Craft Whiskey” award as well as a “Double Gold” medal at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Their next offering came four years later when bottles of TX Bourbon hit the shelves. TX Bourbon is made from local grains plus a proprietary yeast strain captured from a Texas pecan, and is distilled and aged on site. On their first run 1500 bottles were sold out in days. With clearly successful products on their hands, the boys needed to expand their operation and so the Whiskey Ranch was created from a defunct 18-hole golf course. They opened in 2017, boasting a distillery, tasting room, event space, and barrel warehouse. They may have started small, but Robertson says: “We set our sights on the big guys. From the beginning, we wanted to compete at the highest level.” Things are definitely looking like they are heading that way; onward and up!