Shaun Siems, owner of the Spirit of Texas distillery in Pflugerville, said his dream was to create top-shelf Texas whiskey, and now that dream is coming to fruition.
Siems began his distillery in 2009. The business produces two types of rum and recently began distributing its new line of whiskey. Spirit of Texas features a tasting room where visitors can buy the spirits.
Siems said he comes from a family of entrepreneurs and decided early in life that he would want to start a business of his own. At 28, Siems, an electrical engineer, and two friends were experimenting with home brewing and devised an idea for a distillery. Three years later, in 2009, their independent distillery was born with the use of a homemade, 3-gallon still. The company’s first product was named Pecan Street Rum.
Siems, now the sole owner, said the name emerged from the fact that the trio used pecans to naturally darken the rum color after practice runs proved oak wood time-intensive.
“I thought, ‘How can we make this Texan?’ So we threw in some Texas pecan halves, and then, within two or three days, the rum was a bright, golden color,” he said. “And it smelled like a pecan pie.”
Since Siems also grew up in Pflugerville, he said Pecan Street Rum’s name also reflects his hope that the company will eventually relocate to the city’s downtown.
Siems said the public asked to sample the rum in its natural state, so the company released the Straight Silver Rum. Siems said Straight Silver is a sipping rum that naturally tricks the senses.
“The smell of it tricks your tongue into believing it’s tasting butterscotch,” Siems said.
In 2012, Pecan Street Rum won the company’s first accolade, a silver award at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and Straight Silver Rum won bronze.
“We were very surprised we won the awards. There are usually up to 2,000 entries per category, and we entered it in the spur of the moment,” Siems said.
In 2013, Pecan Street Rum took home a bronze medal in the American Distilling Competition.
Siems said the Pfluger Single Malt Whiskey won the gold medal in its category at the San Francico World Spirits Competition.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day for a very long time, and I’m very excited,” Siems said. “I’ve already sold over 100 of the 520 bottles I have at the store, and I’ve had many happy return customers. I’m really looking forward to what the future brings with our whiskey.”
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