There’s a new liquor-buying option in town, but this one is no regular corner liquor store. German “luxury retailer” VomFASS not only offers spirits — think whisk(e)y, absinthe, liqueurs, etc. — but also oils and vinegars, and they’ll let you try it before you buy it. An intriguing concept, even if their name is decidedly bizarre.
Wait a sec, we thought upon arriving at VomFASS’ new Plano location. We can try anything? Apparently, it’s a thing. Per Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules, the store can sample up to 20 of their alcoholic options each day. You can even get crazy and try every one of their nearly 60 oil and vinegar options — and yes, it’s possible, because we nearly did it. Let’s just say that a trip to Costco and then VomFASS would be a sufficient dinner and drinks date.
Vom fass actually means “from the cask” in German, and with about 100 casked products for the tasting, they obviously don’t take the name lightly. They offer cask-aged vinegars, extra virgin olive oils and a selection of wines, spirits and liqueurs from casks, and most direct from the makers. In fact, the selection is extensive for such a small storefront, so much so that it can be intimidating.
The products are all private label options curated by VomFASS and range from the expected Irish whiskey and Italian balsamic vinegar to the less common 25-year French Armagnac XO and Egyptian black cumin oil. The company selected limited but quality options for each expression. Once you decide on a product, you choose a bottle size and are ready to go. (Spirits are pre-bottled per TABC regulations, but oils and vinegars can be bottled and sealed for you on-site.)
Denise and Mike Burkey, along with their son, Patrick, opened two franchise locations in North Texas in the last month, both in Plano, and they plan to open three more in the near future. VomFASS currently has 32 stores in the U.S. with more than 300 overseas, so they must be doing something right.
The shopping and tasting experience is quite entertaining, thanks to the personable service from the family — and, you know, the free booze. With unique, high quality products, this is one case where you should still buy the cow even though you get samples of the milk for free.
VomFASS, 8315 Preston Road or 4909 W. Park Blvd., Plano