The athletic department of Stephen F. Austin State University will launch its own whiskey, Stone Fort Bourbon, this August to celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary, the department announced Wednesday.
The athletics department will debut Stone Fort Bourbon in collaboration with Sisterdale Distilling Co., which will produce the whiskey. Sisterdale is located in Houston, Texas, about 150 miles south of the university.
“We are extremely excited to be able to launch this partnership with Sisterdale Distilling Co., and our very own bourbon that celebrates the history and beauty of East Texas. This has been an extremely collaborative effort with Sisterdale, and I am confident that ‘Jack Nation will enjoy this bourbon product,” Director of Athletics Ryan Ivey said. “There are very few institutions with officially branded bourbon/whiskey partnerships. I am very appreciative of the work of our staff, our partners with Learfield/CLC and, of course, Sisterdale and the statewide businesses that will carry this great product.”
Stone Fort Bourbon will officially launch 5:30-7 p.m. July 28 at the Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas, near the campus. The event will be free to attend and will feature live music, appetizers and giveaways.
The bourbon will go on sale in the area beginning Aug. 1. On the same date, the university will launch the Centennial Stone Fort campaign, which will aim to raise money for the athletics department. Multiple donation levels will be available and will be “accompanied by Stone Fort related gifts,” the athletics department said, with the first 100 bottles of Stone Fort Bourbon made available as gifts based on giving levels and availability.
Stephen F. Austin Athletics encourages fans to visit liquor stores throughout Texas to request Stone Fort. The product will be distributed by Republic National Distribution Company, which will make it available in restaurants and bars across the region and then the state.
About Stone Fort Bourbon
Stone Fort is a high-rye straight bourbon aged at least 2.5 years, filtered and bottled in Texas. Stone Fort exits the barrel at 120 proof and is bottled at 96 proof.
“We are dedicated to making one thing: delicious bourbon,” Sisterdale Distilling Co. said. “We painstakingly handcraft every drop of our bourbon and you will taste the difference. To capture a bit of Stone Fort’s history in every glass of Stone Fort Straight Bourbon Whiskey was a partnership that made great sense to us.”
Nose: Buttered popcorn with rum-soaked dried fruit and candy corn
Taste: A creamy feel of brown butter caramel and coffee cake
Finish: A lingering finish of cinnamon and applesauce. The finish is long and smooth with a balanced taste of sweet fruit and strong undertones of vanilla and spice.
The History of Stone Fort
Stone Fort Bourbon is named for Old Stone Fort, a mercantile house built from iron ore in 1779. The building traded hands several times. Over the years, it served as a business catering to indigenous tribes, various government facilities, headquarters for Col. José de las Piedras during the Texas Revolution, a courtroom and a commercial building. It was dismantled in 1902, but a replica was built on the Stephen F. Austin campus in 1936 thanks to the funding of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Today, the Old Stone Fort Museum is open to visitors and hosts exhibits.
University whiskey releases are unusual, although not unheard of. In April, South Carolina-based Furman University debuted a bourbon named “FU All The Time.”
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