Look carefully at the top of any bottle of handcrafted TX Whiskey, and you’ll find a piece of Texas history and old-world engineering.
Every bottle has a story
Troy designed the caps himself in his wood shop at home. This was no easy feat: four elements in each top have to accommodate varying thicknesses of leather and be replicated on a large scale. We all thought the prototypes were incredibly cool, and we soon partnered with boot-making friends in the community and cork growers in Portugal to establish this five-step creation process:
First, we select the leather. In the beginning, most of our leathers were repurposed from boots donated by some of our friends in the community and by visitors to the distillery. Now we primarily use leather pieces from the best local boot-makers in Fort Worth. We acquire exotic skins and different colors from those extra pieces that the boot makers can no longer use.
Next, we use handmade tools to punch out a circle of leather. We then measure the thickness of the leather to determine which cork size to use. We looked for a partner to manufacture these corks in the historic cork capital of the world – Portugal – and found our solution where the world’s very best cork grows, in the provinces of Algarve and Alentejo.
Then we hammer a custom-made beach wood ring over the leather to secure it to the cork – again, using tools that were handmade by Troy. Finally, we add very small pins for reinforcement.
Every resulting bottle cap is a unique example of fine Western craftsmanship – just like our whiskey. Stop by the distillery and swap stories with us – maybe even bring your own boots for topping off a bottle of F&R spirits; we’d love to make you a part of our history.
Bottle Cap Stories
Troy's Justin® Ostrich Boots
The leather used in the original prototype design of our caps came straight from Troy’s closet. A fine pair of Justin Boots – ostrich in fact. As much as Troy enjoyed the boots, he was compelled to use them for R&D on our cap because the exotic leather was a perfect complement to our premium whiskey. A pair of Justin’s made sense because their corporate headquarters is just down the street from the distillery. The leather worked perfectly and looked great on the cap. We were so pleased in how these original caps came out that we decided to use a few in our first bottling of TX Blended Whiskey.
Leonard's Tony Lama® Lizard Boots
Leonard decided to get into the act next, and pulled a favorite pair of lizard skin Tony Lama Boots from his closet. He says he loved the boots, and had many great times throughout Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and California in them, but they had just gotten a little too tight. So he brought them into the distillery, put them on the workbench, and peeled back some of the stitching to stamp out a leather circle for the top. Man, it looked great. More stamps followed, and now that lizard, and the good times that came with it, are part of TX’s first batch release.
Rob's "Distiller Boots"
Not to be denied, Rob stepped up next with a pair of Rocky's that he calls his “distiller’s boots.” He calls them his distiller’s boots because they are the pair he wore during our first month of making whiskey. The tops created with this leather look really good, and every bottle that is secured with these pieces certainly carries a unique piece of F&R history.
Boot Makers Donations
As soon as we started to see how cool the tops were coming out, we decided to show a few to some of the boot makers and leather shops around town. Everyone thought they looked great! They loved the idea that every cap would be different, and that we found such a neat way to extend the life of a pair of boots or showcase pristine leathers that would otherwise be discarded. As a consequence, a number of folks donated some incredible leathers for us to use: alligator, ostrich, calf, buffalo, lizard, suede, rhino, and elephant. All kinds of colors and skins can now be found on our assembly line, and will soon make their way into the market.
Bring Your Boots In!
One fun thing we’d love to offer you is the opportunity to bring your boots or special leather into the distillery and make some tops out of them to bring home. Then, if you’d like, you can use your boot caps on a bottle of TX after you purchase it. Have some fun with it! Could make a really special gift with your own story attached.
Cory Morrow Boot Story
Not too long ago, a friend shared the news of F&R’s opening with one of the “Red Dirt” music circuit’s finest – Cory Morrow. Cory was so excited to hear about the distillery and the leather tops we were making, he was kind enough to send us a pair of his old-school Frye’s. Cory explained that this particular pair of boots had treated him well on tour, and he loved the idea that he could share “one more piece of his soul” with fans.