December 11, 2014
It’s easy to spot the Balcones casks upon entering the bright, airy space. They’re parked right up against the window where they can be spotted from outside. There’s nothing like a barrel of booze to draw in curious would-be imbibers from off the street, but FT33 needs hardly sidewalk marketing: the accolades have piled on since opening in 2012.
Seated at the comfortable marble bar, General Manager and Wine Director Jeff Gregory shares the background of the barrel-aged cocktail program, which began in August, and has proven popular. An industry veteran, there’s no point untouched in Gregory’s background spiel—there’s passion apparent here as there would be with any curated art—and no question that can stump. The barrels are 20 liters of New American Oak, which have been used twice for other spirits, for a stint of 12 months per spirit. He knows which spirits are aged in each particular cask, and points out that Balcones original notes and markings remain on the bottom of each barrel so they can be selected for their qualities.
by SCOTT LAIRD
::: original article