Some folks are sticklers for “traditional” bourbon, distilled, aged, bottled, the whole shebang in Kentucky, maybe while piping bluegrass into the rack house for the entire aging period. But in this age in which craft distilleries are all the rage, Kentucky and Tennessee no longer own the entire bourbon landscape. If you’re looking to expand your bourbon experience while celebrating America’s 240th this weekend, consider the B&B June 2016 #BourbonOfTheMonth:
Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Thoughts: Okay, let’s call out the ugly baby up front: this stuff is expensive. It’s probably restrictively expensive to most folks, especially with such a good selection of cheaper bourbons out there these days. The suggested retail price is about $70 a bottle, and it can run you more depending upon where you’re buying. That said, you have to admire that Garrison Brothers owns this fact, acknowledging on their website that “it’ll set you back a little.”
Price aside, what you have with Garrison Brothers is a unique and masterfully crafted bourbon that does Texas proud. You can read all about the ingredients and process on their site, but the chief ingredients are from Texas (corn from the Panhandle, wheat grown on site, and water harvested from Hill Country rainwater), and the distillation is all done at the distillery in Hye, Texas.
Having had a bottle of the aged-two-years Fall 2014 vintage, I personally think GB outdid themselves with the aged-three-years 2015 batch. The latter is what’s in stores now, and you can read about the flavor profile by clicking here.
And if I haven’t said it directly yet: it tastes damn good.
Some Background: Story time. On a weekend in February of last year, my family and I headed to the PX on Fort Campbell. When we walked through the doors, I was greeted by an unexpected sign: Whiskey Tasting Event Today. I change whatever plans I may have had, handed the car keys to my wife, and headed out.
It was on that day when, among the other vendors, I found my home state’s product and was introduced to Garrison Brothers. I met Master Distiller Donnis Todd who signed my bottle with a kind message. From then on, GB had a customer.
Parting Words: Like wine tours and microbrewery craft beers, you have to understand that exploring micro-bourbons such as the products from Garrison Brothers requires some investment. Personally, I’m willing to invest in a quality product that sources locally, puts in the work, and proudly represents the Lone Star State on a national level. If you want to try something different and have the spare booze money, give Garrison Brothers a shot. (Also, check out their Tour FAQ site for your daily dose of Texan snark.)
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