White Dog

Distillers Tasting Notes

This weekend I toured Firestone & Robertson's Distillery. I had stumbled upon their website in search of all things fermented. Head distiller Rob Arnold is preparing a Texas Bourbon whiskey fermented with wild yeast. The oak aged product is scheduled for release as early as 2014. However, tour guests are offered samples of pure whiskey off the still. I've noted the "White Dog" as a bouquet of fruity esters with a sweet corn finish. The one ounce sample regulation was gone before I could gather my own words.

Here are notes from Rob the distiller:
    Color: Perfectly clear
    Nose: Floral and fruity, graham cracker and banana
    Taste: Butterscotch, orange zest, black cherry, very smooth
    Finish: Fruity, viscous, warm

As you can imagine the yeast is dominating the nose and the finish. Rob has done a great job by isolating the saccharomyces cerevisiae strain from a Texas pecan. The yeast has been named Brazos or RHB-422. Even more work is done maintaining a pure pitch. At F&R each 1000 gallon batch is fermented with 40 gallons of fresh Brazos. Going from plate to pitch is a job itself. The mash is conducted much like craft beer using local corn & wheat with a small amount of U.S. six-row malt. The entire grist is then cooled and fermented in open vats. The resulting mash yields a 9% ABV wash for distillation.

Firestone Robertson Distilling Pecan Yeast
Thou shall not covet another brewers' yeast!

FR Texas White Dog
FR Vendome 500 Gallon Stills

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