A couple of years ago, I went out to Fort Worth to write about Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, who were on the verge of opening the biggest whiskey distillery west of the Mississippi, Whiskey Ranch, built on 112 acres that used to house the Glen Garden Country Club. It was the culmination of almost a decade of work that began with the duo filling their own bottles, sweating just to produce a pallet of their TX blended whiskey a day. They later added a bourbon that proved to be phenomenally successful, and with reason — it’s one of the best I’ve tasted. But even as they got more successful they kept that sort of hand-made attention to detail. It’s an interesting story, and not because I told it.
Last week, they sold TX and Whiskey Ranch to Pernod Ricard, the second-largest producer of wine and spirits in the world.
Giving up full control of the distillery to Pernod Ricard was no small decision for the duo. Robertson said he and Firestone had received offers from big-name companies before, but Pernod’s knowledge and ownership of the Jameson whiskey brand was a big selling point.
“They are a global supplier that has significant resources to help a brand like ours get into many, many more places,” Robertson said.
For now, Robertson said, the pair will remain part of the distillery’s day to day operations. They’ll likely shift gears later to focus more on their passion for brand-building.