Whiskey cocktail

Review: TX Whiskey Canned Cocktails

Editor’s Note: These products were provided to us as review samples by Firestone & Robertson. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link at the bottom of this review, our site receives a small referral payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. contributed to the growing category of Texas whiskey since their creation in 2010. F&R’s TX whiskey range caught the judge’s eye when their blended whiskey won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013 and demonstrated that it also had consumer attention when it released its TX Straight Bourbon in 2017. They were acquired in 2019 by Pernod Ricard USA which continues to operate F&R’s Whiskey Ranch site on the site of a former country club in Fort Worth.

The TX brand has recently extended to include several canned cocktails featuring their blended whiskey, currently available exclusively in Texas. There are three distinct options, so I loaded up a full ice cream tray to try them out.

TX Whiskey Canned Cocktails (image via Firestone & Robertson Distilling)

TX Whiskey Cola

I’ve always thought cola and whiskey complement each other well and have enjoyed experimenting with different combinations beyond the well-worn Jack and Coke over the years. The perfect blend is elusive in part because the flavor profiles of American whiskey and cola are remarkably similar, both frequently containing vanilla, citrus and spice. This is what makes TX canned whiskey and cola good but not great for my taste. The blend is smooth and balanced, making it a bit difficult to tell where the cola ends and the whiskey begins.

This observation isn’t exactly a complaint though – the vanilla and nutmeg notes combine to create a pleasant flan/crème brûlée flavor that’s easy to drink, especially at a relatively forgiving 7% ABV.

TX Whiskey and Sweet Tea

The strongest impression here is the smoothness of the sweet and earthy black tea, which then opens up a bit to more fruity citrus flavors. I don’t have a sweet tooth so it didn’t really suit my preferences, but the blend of tea and alcohol is very sweet and could definitely appeal to more dedicated fans of sweet tea. The caramel and vanilla notes are strong in the back end of the flavor but not particularly well integrated with the citrus notes that precede them.

TX Whiskey Ranch Water

On my first sip, I wasn’t sure if the crispy lime zest and vanilla/meringue combo really did it for me. On my second sip, I remembered feeling the same way when I first tasted lime pie. Then I took a few more sips while I scrubbed my phone for a few minutes trying to find where I could get a key lime pie. This one grew on me over time, but I still think the balance is more than a little off. I’m surprised to say that I would like to see the flavor of the whiskey toned down to make way for more assertive citrus acidity.

I could imagine TX Whiskey Ranch Water to be something of a polarizing drink, with staunch enthusiasts and equally committed haters, the difference coming down to your individual palate. I don’t know if I fall entirely on one side or the other, but I’ll probably stick with the classic Ranch Water tequila in the future.

Takeaway meals

These are three quite different cocktails, but the personality of TX whiskey is noticeable in the rich vanilla notes that emerge from each of them. The problem is that, for my taste, this flavor profile does not match these drinks as well. The Whiskey and Cola is my favorite of the bunch, but I still can’t see myself picking it out of the whiskey and cola combinations I came up with through trial and error. In the other two drinks, the main notes of the whiskey seem to be in a different key than the rest of the drink. While I can imagine someone else enjoying it, that pronounced vanilla character struck me as quite out of place compared to the crisp acidity of the Ranch water.

As the pandemic continues, there is a niche in the beverage market that seems to be growing: products designed to get cocktails out of the bar and into the house without the consumer knowing anything about the mix. drinks itself. TX Whiskey Marketing Director Steve Gordon says in a statement prepared for the release of their canned cocktails: “We wanted to create a versatile product that would allow TX Whiskey fans to enjoy our cocktails without having to mix a drink. TX products mostly avoid the common pitfall in this category of sacrificing flavor for ease of consumption, but they still don’t quite measure up to a homemade cocktail.

TX offers a generally acceptable alternative to studying basic mixology, especially if you are not interested in building a home bar. But I would still advise those who want to or are interested that the added value to the drinking experience by learning the fundamentals of mixing drinks is definitely worth it.