If you live in the Empire State you may have noticed something new floating around store shelves. Recently, Garrison Brothers Distillery, Texas’ first legal whiskey distillery, released their highly acclaimed straight bourbon whiskey in New York – the third state to gain distribution beyond Texas and Arizona.
Winner of the 2014 American Micro Whiskey of the Year award, Garrison Brothers is a family owned and operated farm, ranch and distillery that has a deep appreciation for the distilling process. Proprietor and distiller Dan Garrison started running with the idea to develop his own distillery and create a true Texas whiskey in 2004, and by the following year land was procured and construction commenced. By 2007, Garrison had made several visits to Kentucky and the heart of Bourbon country to learn the whiskey trade from some of the industry’s best, and after purchasing an antique copper pot still dubbed “The Copper Cowgirl” that was originally built for Wild Turkey in the 70s, Garrison Brothers was well underway. In 2008, Garrison uncorked his first experimental barrel and hasn’t looked back since.
I spent years traveling to Kentucky to learn the trade and was warmly welcomed by the greatest bourbon distillers in the world. Today, I consider them friends and share my bourbon with them frequently. Through this education, I have come to understand and respect that making straight bourbon whiskey is a labor of love. One must plan in terms of decades, not days. To do it right, one must know and appreciate the history – and the rugged legacy – that is great bourbon. – Dan Garrison
Now, several thousand flock to the distillery each year just to get their hands on this highly acclaimed Texas Straight Bourbon with some bottles having become sought after collector’s items, including the famed “Cowboy Bourbon” – a 2013 release that was comprised of only 600 bottles. If you have some to share, I’d be more than happy to take a pour.
A unique vintage of the Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is released twice per year – once in the spring and once in the fall, and according to Garrison, no two batches are alike.
“Each legendary vintage is older, of higher quality, and better tasting than the last,” says Garrison. He believes consistency is boring and each vintage, aged in White North American Oak barrels from sustainable forests, has a different personality than the one before.
The fall 2013 Vintage can still be found on store shelves and the spring 2014 Vintage, which was released last month on Texas Independence Day, is in stores now. Both carry an RRP of $69.99 per 750ml.
Some proud characteristics that help set Garrison Brothers apart:
- Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made – from corn to cork – in Hye, Texas, one barrel at a time.
- The bourbon is handcrafted from a sweet mash of premium, #1 food-grade organic grain. They grow their own winter wheat to assure the highest quality.
- Garrison Brothers never use “sour mash” or “backset.” It’s a homemade sweet mash that is copper distilled just one time, so you can taste the flavor of the grain.
- Their special ingredient is pure Hill Country rainwater that they harvest from the rooftops of the distillery. The water goes through several filtering processes in a “closed loop,” including ozonization and ultraviolet light. The result is incredibly pure H2O.
Dan Garrison has dedicated his life to making the finest bourbon possible and is proud of their operation in the heart of Texas Hill Country, which currently attracts more than 25,000 guests every year. If you’re interested in learning more about Garrison Brothers bourbon or taking a tour of the distillery, visit garrisonbros.com