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Garrison Brothers Distillery Announces Operation Hurricane Tough

Garrison Brothers Distillery Announces Operation Hurricane Tough

In Partnership with Team Rubicon,

A Bourbon Fundraiser For Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Hye, Texas (September 1, 2017) – Garrison Brothers Distillery announced today a unique way to give to the Hurricane Harvey rescue and relief efforts along the Texas Gulf Coast. On the day Harvey slammed into the Texas shore, the team at Garrison Brothers filled nine barrels of bourbon whiskey. The first 1,000 people who donate $100 or more via the website below to Team Rubicon, an organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams, will receive a complementary bottle of our limited release, 4-year-old, 100 proof Garrison Brothers Hurricane Tough Straight Bourbon Whiskey directly from the barrels filled that fateful day.

“Good bourbon has a way of making people smile in the midst of hardship. We want to put our bourbon to work,” said Dan Garrison. “We have friends, family and business partners all along the Gulf Coast, and our hearts are with them all the way. If one thousand people donate, we will raise more than one hundred thousand dollars.”

Please join us and make a donation of $100 or more to Team Rubicon.

Donate here:  http://garrisonbros.com/bourbon-fundraiser-aid-victims-hurricane-harvey

Team Rubicon is a 501c3 non-profit organization directly benefitting families and individuals who lost everything to Hurricane Harvey. One hundred percent of the donations made to Team Rubicon will go directly to relief for the victims. The first one thousand donors who contribute $100 or more will receive a bottle of Garrison Brothers Hurricane Tough Straight Bourbon Whiskey in 2022. The campaign goal is to raise $150,000. Though everyone who contributes may not get a bottle, no contribution is too big or too small.

The bourbon will be available for donors at the gift shop at the distillery in Hye, Texas. Texas antiquated liquor laws prohibit a distillery from shipping bottles of liquor. Therefore, a $100 donor must present a valid driver’s license at the gift shop at Garrison Brothers Distillery, verifying they are over 21 years of age, to receive their bottle. Bottles cannot be retrieved via proxy. “As silly as this restriction is, at least it will enable us to look you in the eye, shake your hand and say thank you,” said Garrison.

Special note: After this release was drafted, Garrison Brothers Distillery’s distribution partner, Republic National Distributing Company, generously offered to donate $2 to Operation Hurricane Tough for every bottle of Garrison Brothers Boot Flask Bourbon purchased in the state of Texas between now and the close of 2017.

Team Rubicon


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We’re Filling Barrel Number 10,000!

To Celebrate, These Boys Want To Fry You Some Chicken

Next month Garrison Brothers Distillery will achieve a major milestone; we will fill our 10,000th bourbon barrel with the most delicious, delightful, sinfully good brown liquor ever made. For us that’s a pretty big deal. So, we’re going to put on a little hootenanny.

The 56th Annual Peach Jamboree, Parade and Rodeo is Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17. There’s a rodeo and dance each night. Mark Chesnutt is performing at the dance. The Peach Parade meanders through town Saturday morning at 10. And the boys round here know how to dress up a tractor. Garrison Brothers will have a float in the parade and we’re sponsoring the bull riding at the rodeo.

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner is going down on Saturday, June 17 from noon to 4 at Garrison Brothers Distillery in gorgeous Hye, Texas. For the uninitiated, Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner is our annual celebration of everything Hye along with our sister city, Stonewall. Immediately after the Peach Parade, at noon, everybody is invited back to Garrison Brothers Distillery for a fried chicken lunch in our barrel barn. Come early though because we WILL run out of chicken and lunch is first come, first-served.

If this all sounds hokey as hell to you, well, it is. This is the seventh year in a row that we have held Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner immediately after the Stonewall Peach Parade to raise money for the Hye Preservation Society. This will be the best and biggest chicken dinner yet and we are expecting more than 500 guests. We’re going to have two parties underway simultaneously.

The Barrel Barn Hoedown will feature the live whiskey and wine barrel auction. Six of the prettiest painted bourbon barrels you’ve ever seen will be auctioned off. The barrels were bought at the auction last year and have been painted by local artists. We’ll also offer an Afternoon in Hye gift package, which is a tour of the area aboard a Cellar Rat Wine Tours shuttle, featuring lunch at Hye Market, a wine tasting at William Chris Vineyards, a tour and tasting at Garrison Brothers Distillery, and an afternoon of cold beer and burgers with friends at The Albert Ice House and The Pig Pen.

The second event is for more respectable types like my wife. It’s our Garrison Garden Party out on the great lawn in front of our gift shop. Underneath the live oak trees, and an enormous, well-ventilated tent, we’ll have a washer pitching tournament, acoustic music from our friend Scooter Pearce and the 10,000th barrel on display for everyone to sign.

At both parties, you can eat all the chicken, potato salad, cole slaw and biscuits and gravy that you want. The parties are BYOB though we’ll have some beer there. We’ll also be drinking wines from William Chris Vineyards, lemonade, iced tea, peach-bourbon tea, and of course, plenty good bourbon.

Guests attending Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner can choose to have their lunch served at the Garden Party or in the Barrel Barn. If you choose an All Access Pass, you can eat at either location. But whichever wristband you choose, you are still welcome to move between the parties throughout the day. We’ll have our Polaris Ranger, a couple of golf carts, and the Hayless Hay Ride ferrying guests up and down the hill. We’ll also have ponies on hand for the more ambitious who want to ride up and down the hill on horseback.

As always, it will be hotter than hades, so the dress code is casual/half-naked.

To make a reservation for Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner, click here.

You can learn more about everything going on in Stonewall and buy event tickets at http://www.stonewalltexas.com/

We hope to see ya’ll there.

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Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon ranked as one of the best whiskeys


Gb-1134 Flagship Single Barrel and Cowboy Rustic

Made in the Hill Country, Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon — a hard-to-find whiskey that sent Garrison fans into a frenzy last year over its release — might be more than just hype.

For a second year, a revered whiskey critic has given it the U.S. Micro Whisky of the Year Award in his “Whisky Bible 2017.” The whiskey-loving expert, Jim Murray, releases a book every year announcing what he believes are the best whiskeys in the world (or whiskies, depending on which kind), giving each one a score. The Garrison Brothers bourbon received the distinction of a 96.5, out of a possible 100, in the American Whiskey category.

That’s a small improvement from two years ago, when Murray gave the 2013 version of the Cowboy Bourbon a 96. This year, he also listed the Cowboy Bourbon as the best bourbon nine years and under.

“Four years in Texas evidently equate to 23 in Kentucky: there’s a geography lesson for you,” according to Murray. “Whiskeys from this distillery have absolutely delighted and astonished me in the past: this proves, indubitably, it was no fluke. If you didn’t think Texas was on the world map of Great Whisky, it is now.”
The Cowboy Bourbon is made just as Garrison Brothers’ flagship is: with organic Panhandle corn, soft red winter wheat grown at the distillery, two-row malted barley and Hill Country rainwater. But unlike the flagship, the 2015 Cowboy Bourbon was aged for four years and left at barrel-proof, unfiltered and uncut. If you’ve been able to get your hands on a bottle, treasure it.

Murray’s “Whisky Bible” features tasting notes from more than 4,600 whiskeys from all over the world. He named Booker’s Rye 13-Year-Old, from Kentucky, as the World Whisky of the Year.

Read the article and the comments.

posted by admin in Spring 2010 Newsletter and have No Comments

Whiskey Social and Fundraiser

Whiskey Social and Fundraiser


Whiskey Social and Fundraiser with Dr. Dawn Buckingham, candidate for Texas State Senate, District 24.


Thursday evening, November 3 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Admission is free but a donation to Dr. Dawn Buckingham’s campaign is most welcome.


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Texas Bourbon News, Fall 2016

Welcome back to my occasional “state of the business report” about Garrison Brothers Distillery and my scathing indictment of whatever is currently pissing me off in liquor-land. I was once good about publishing this with some frequency but have spent too much time traveling in recent months.

I would like to thank actor Matthew McConaughey for jolting me out of my writer’s cramp. More on that later.

Sourced Whiskey Sucks

First, I want to talk about why I think Sourced Whiskey Sucks. Today, there are more than 300 brands of some form of whiskey that looks like bourbon on Texas liquor store shelves. When I started this business ten years ago, there were just 25 brands out there. Where did they all come from?

Many are named after famous folks or deceased distilleries. A celebrity car repair guy has one called Jesse James. There’s another named after legendary Texas cattle trader Charles Goodnight, which is owned by a California wine company. Even Larry Hagman from the TV show Dallas managed to posthumously release the J.R. Ewing bourbon brand. Pretty bottle too. There’s a brand out there named after virtually every dead tough guy that ever lived.

Bourbon brands are now a dime a dozen. Not one of these brands explains how or where the liquid was made; how the grains used were farmed or selected; or who made the barrels that were used. Many don’t even know if the bourbons they offer are made with wheat, rye or another flavor grain. If you visit the websites of these brands, you’ll find they don’t list phone numbers or email addresses. If you want to reach them, they make you fill out a form and they claim they’ll get back to you. That seems strange to me. Don’t they want to talk about their whiskey?

Indeed, none of them claim to be any different from any other bourbon whiskey. Their only claim is that the guy pictured on the bottle liked whiskey that might have tasted like the liquor in the bottle. Some even claim the dead guy, like Al Capone, created the recipe for what’s in the bottle. It has become a trite story. Personally, I wouldn’t want to piss off Al and run into him later in a dark alley in an afterlife.

When I was younger, there were clear, noticeable differences between bourbon brands. There were nights when a Blanton’s was perfect for what I was doing or what I was eating. On other nights, I’d read a book while sipping from a glass of something old and rare. If I was angry for some reason and wanted to blow off some steam, Rebel Yell would suffice. Today, everything is starting to taste the same.

If you truly don’t care who grows, cooks, distills or bottles what you put in your body, then sourced whiskey is for you. Drink the dead guy’s juice.

But consider this: beverage alcohol is the only consumer product where there is no accountability whatsoever for the actual producer. The producer is anonymous. Though every bottle is required to have a “producer’s statement” on the label, which explains who made it and how they made it, more often than not the company name is fictitious. It is a DBA (“doing business as”). Ever visited the Noah’s Mill Distillery? No one has. It doesn’t exist. It is a DBA.

I am ecstatic that Blue Bell Ice Cream is back on store shelves. When I enjoy my Blue Bell vanilla milkshake drizzled with a hefty Garrison Brothers floater, I know that the ice cream in that shake was made at a Blue Bell Creamery. But if you drink sourced whiskey, and you don’t like it or it harms you, there’s not much you can do about it.

I am NOT calling for nutritional labels on liquor bottles. The amount of crap the regulators already require on a liquor label makes designing a bottle daunting. However, I do believe that a truthful producer’s statement should be a mandate. Consumers should insist on it. A Garrison Brothers bottle reads: “Cooked, distilled, barreled and bottled by Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas.” So there it is: You don’t like my bourbon? You know who to talk to about it.

Marketing companies are talented though; they can create fictitious brands and founder’s stories out of thin air. McConaughey would say with a slow west Texas drawl that they know how to “soooo-liccccc-ittttt.”  Thank goodness he won’t be doing that for Wild Turkey.

There are other reasons that I encourage you to buy whiskey from those who actually produce the whiskey. These reasons have to do with American jobs, our economy, our growing national debt and our shrinking gross domestic product. But all that sounds like an educational buzz-killer, so I won’t go into it now.

I will tell you that I love the people who work for me! And if you’re drinking sourced whiskey instead of ours, it makes it difficult for me to pay my people what they deserve.


How To Sell Our Foreign-owned Stuff to Millennials (read: “our children”)

Recently, it was announced in the New York Times that Uvalde, Texas native Matthew McConnaughy would be the new spokesperson (oops, I mean creative director) for Wild Turkey bourbon. My favorite line in the Times article about McConaughey accepting the position is: “They can smell it. Millennials, and I know this for a fact, can smell sooo-lic-it-a-tion. And it’s a turnoff.”

They’re certainly smelling it now.

Don’t get me wrong. I love McConaughey. Linklater’s Dazed and Confused is the ultimate portrayal of my teen years growing up in the Spring Branch area of Houston. The guy is an outstanding actor and writer. I’m a Texas Longhorn and a Life Member of the Texas Exes so I know what a big supporter McConaughey has been for the team.

I am also a huge fan and admirer of Jimmie and Eddie Russell who make Wild Turkey. Wild Turkey was and is a distinctly American product. I have had the honor of raising a glass with Mr. Russell at a bourbon tasting. I’ve even glowed about their bourbons in an earlier bourbon blog. I love Wild Turkey bourbon! And kudos to Gruppo Campari for giving Jimmy and Eddie the freedom to collaborate on a slew of exciting super-premium bourbons that they have released in recent years.

If you watch the introductory mini-movie McConaughey created for Wild Turkey (see link here), while walking around the Wild Turkey distillery, he says that he senses that there is “a story here.” He’s right and it goes like this…

The Wild Turkey Distillery was built in 1869 in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky by the Ripy Brothers. You can still visit the Ripy mansion in Lawrenceburg, which has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Ripy Brothers sold Wild Turkey to the Gould Brothers in 1952.

In 1980, the Gould family sold Wild Turkey to Pernod-Ricard, a multinational French company and the second largest distilled spirits company in the world. Wild Turkey was then sold again to Gruppo Campari in 2009 for $575 million. This was a huge mistake by Pernod-Ricard because an enormous bourbon sales boom was right around the corner.

So, technically, the Wild Turkey brand has been foreign-owned for more than 36 years. Wild Turkey is not alone; many distilleries are no longer American-owned. Japanese brewer Suntory owns Jim Beam Brands and Makers Mark. Japanese brewer Kirin owns Four Roses. Hudson Baby Bourbon from New York is owned by William Grant & Sons (London).

Matthew just accepted heaps of Euros from a multi-national liquor company called Gruppo Campari. Who can blame him? Interestingly, one of the objectives cited for bringing on McCounaghy as their spokesperson was to attract more international customers and more women. That is awesome! Because there is nothing more attractive than a lady with a glass of good bourbon in her hand.

I visited the newly expanded Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg last year and took a tour of the impressive facility overlooking the Kentucky River. Campari spent $50 million to expand the operation. The visitors’ center is stunning. You can drink off the floor. The new 134,000 square foot facility expansion makes Wild Turkey one of the biggest whiskey distilleries in all of North America. It is capable of producing up to 11 million proof gallons of liquid annually.

What struck me while I was there was not the stunning river views, the rich history of the Ripy’s and Gould’s, or the tour guide’s bad jokes. What surprised me — what shocked me, really — was that there were no people, anywhere. There weren’t even Oompa Loompas helping out.

We spent two hours driving all over the property from the gift shop to the fermentation rooms to the stillhouse to the rickhouses and back to the visitors’ center. Other than the two clerks working in the gift shop and the tour guide, the only other humans we observed at the distillery were two guys hunched over a computer in a room that looked like the SpaceX mission control center. Other than a few lonely souls in the bottling hanger, it appears the entire Wild Turkey Distillery, which can churn out 50 million bottles a year, is almost entirely automated.

Jimmy and Eddie Russell make great bourbon. But are you buying “American” when you buy Wild Turkey? Tough call. All bourbon must be made in America but that does not mean the bourbon that’s produced is American-owned. Though Wild Turkey is made here, the profits and many of the jobs they create are headed to Italy. If you buy Wild Turkey bourbon you are supporting a brand with a rich American history. But don’t let McConaughey fool you into thinking you are creating jobs or helping our economy.

And Matthew, couldn’t you show a fellow Texan a little love and consider signing on as our creative director? We can’t afford a pot to piss in. We don’t have any Euros to throw your way but we’re willing to offer a Whataburger double-meat cheeseburger, a cool t-shirt and a really good bottle of bourbon. I recognize this is a low-ball offer and you probably won’t accept it but Matthew… “it’d be a lot cooler if you did.”

Gb-1134 Flagship Single Barrel and Cowboy Rustic

About Garrison Brothers Bourbon

Today, we offer three brands of bourbon:

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey (The Flagship) – This is the brand that got us where we are today. She is our workhorse, and we are damn proud of her. Every year we release a new vintage of this highly coveted bourbon. Today, every barrel that’s married together to create our flagship small batch bourbon is three to four years old.

I can say without hesitation that The Flagship is the highest quality, finest tasting bourbon whiskey in the world. And yes, we have the quantitative and qualitative scientific research to reinforce this claim. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing indicates our bourbon contains lower levels of higher alcohols (the stuff that causes headaches, hangovers, burn and dryness) than any bourbon on the market. We have also conducted hundreds of blind taste-tests with bartenders and sommeliers of Garrison Brothers against more than 25 brands of bourbon, some as old as 23 years of age. In the tests, Garrison Brothers is selected as the favorite 90% of the time.

A few cases of the 2014 vintage (my personal favorite) and the 2015 vintage are still available at liquor stores but only for a limited time. When they’re gone, they’re gone forever. The 2016 vintage should start reaching liquor stores in late October. More on this beautiful liquid later.

Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon – Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Program is sold by the barrel and is unique — we ONLY offer 15-gallon barrels. This is ideal for consumers, retailers, and bars because they do not have to commit to 225-250 bottles like they would with a traditional 53-gallon barrel. Instead, the bottle yield after Angel’s Share is just 50 to 80 bottles.

You can taste some very unique Garrison Brothers Single Barrel bourbon at bars in Texas like Reserve 101 in Houston, The Houstonian Hotel, Stampede 66 in Dallas, and Moonshine Patio and Grill in Austin. You can also buy a bottle at all Total Wine and More stores, at Pogo’s in Dallas, and dozens of other Texas liquor stores.

Want your own barrel of our bourbon? Done deal. Simply visit this page and email me the order form. You can come to Hye as our guest and taste all the barrels you’d like. A Single Barrel order is confirmed when we receive a completed Single Barrel Order Form. I’ll make the arrangements with your favorite liquor store and our distributor to make sure you get your bottles within 60 days. Nice Christmas present, huh? Most retailers will charge you $100 to $110 a bottle. But I’m happy to negotiate on your behalf.


Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Sampler – Don’t want to commit the cash for a full barrel? No problem. The Single Barrel Sampler carton contains six bottles from six different barrels. Each bottle is unique and unusual: different color; different tint, different mouth-feel; and different flavor. You can find these at Twins, Specs and many other great liquor stores. If they don’t have any, please make them order you some.

Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon – Every odd year (2015, 2017 and 2019), we release one of the most highly coveted bourbon whiskies in America: Cowboy Bourbon. This was the American Whiskey of the Year in Jim Murray’s 2014 Whisky Bible! Like Pappy Van Winkle, bourbon connoisseurs wait outside liquor stores for the bottles to be delivered and snatch them up to sell on the black market. The next release is in the spring of 2017.

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey, The 2016 Vintage

This new bourbon is the definition of a collaboration. Initially, our master distiller Donnis Todd selected 202 30-gallon barrels that were 38- to 41-months old. All of these barrels were 24-month seasoned oak, commonly known as wine wood instead of whiskey wood, which makes them damned expensive. The yard-seasoning reduces the bitter tannins in the wood. They had all aged in the rick-house we call Barrel Barn Dos and were originally filled at 114 to 116 proof. The bourbon was good — really good — but in my estimation, not perfect.

I pulled rank and convinced Donnis to marry in another 110 15-gallon barrels that were 48- to 53-months old. He acquiesced and the 2016 Vintage of Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey was born.

Tasting Notes: Sparkling tawny, burnt orange appearance. Clever effervescence. A deceptively flat gunsmoke and leather nose. Captivating malted milk balls and white chocolate taste, melting with an astonishingly gooey finish, rich with marzipan, dried cherries and apricot.

We are releasing 24,000 bottles of this bourbon whiskey this fall. I hope you’ll purchase a couple for yourself and your friends. If you like it, please tell everyone you know. If you don’t, just keep that to yourself.

Let’s Get Together for a Drink

This fall, we have committed to hosting a shitload of exciting tastings, classes and bourbon pairing dinners around the country. I’d love to see you in Dallas at the Stampede 66 dinner with chef Stephan Pyles. Come visit and let us buy you a drink! This should be an event for the ages.

To make a reservation, please contact the bar, restaurant or store directly. More information is available at www.garrisonbros.com/events.



Event Location

Thursday, September 29, 2016 – 6:30pm to 9:30pm Stampede 66: Garrison Brothers Bourbon Dinner w/ Dan Garrison Stampede 66 at 1717 McKinney in Dallas
Monday, October 3, 2016 – 7:00pm to 10:00pm Texas Tailgate & Craft Roadshow with Dan Garrison The Silo
4601 Clinton Drive
Houston, TX 77020
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm TWM: Bourbon 101 Up Close and Personal with Charlie Garrison Total Wine and More
Centennial Gateway East
5720 Centennial Center Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89149
Thursday, October 6, 2016 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm TWM: Bourbon 101 Up Close and Personal with Donnis Todd Total Wine and More
San Antonio “The Rim”
17530 La Cantera Pkwy Ste103
San Antonio, TX 78257
Thursday, October 6, 2016 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm TWM: Bourbon 101 Up Close and Personal with Dan Garrison Total Wine and More
Plano East Collin Creek Village
721 N Central EXPY Ste 200
Plano, TX 75075
Friday, October 7, 2016 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm TWM: Bourbon 101 Up Close and Personal with Charlie Garrison Total Wine and More
Stephanie Street Power Center
501 N. Stephanie Street
Henderson, NV 89014
Friday, October 14, 2016 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm TWM: Bourbon 101 Up Close and Personal with Dan Garrison Total Wine and More
981 Interstate 20 W
Arlington, TX 76017
Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm TWM: Bourbon 101 Up Close and Personal with Dan Garrison Total Wine and More
Hulen Fashion Center
5200 S Hulen St
Fort Worth, TX 76132
Friday, November 18, 2016 – 4:00pm to 8:00pm Garrison Brothers Tasting @ Fossil Creek Liquor with Dan Garrison Fossil Creek Liquor – Plano
1100 Preston Rd P
Plano, TX 75093



Speaking of Grabbing a Drink

Come have a drink with us in Hye. We conduct distillery tours at 10, noon 2 and 4. You can make a reservation or buy a fancy t-shirt here: www.garrisonbros.com. You don’t have to take a tour to taste our bourbon. We are serving tastings at our Hospitality Cabin Wednesday through Sunday from 10 to 5.

Thanks for drinking good bourbon and Vaya con Dios.

Kind regards,





Dan Garrison
Distiller, Whiskey Peddler and Toilet Scrubber

posted by admin in Fall 2016 Newsletter and have Comments (24)

Building a Bourbon Boat




We’re not bullshitting you. We’re going to build a boat. Right here in Hye, Texas. And we need your help to do it. We need your used Garrison Brothers bourbon bottle corks.

We are putting our money where our mouth is too. We will pay a bounty of $5 for every Garrison Brothers bottle cork that is sent to us. And we’ll throw in an extra $5 bucks to cover your shipping costs.

Please send each and every Garrison Brothers bottle cork you have to:

Garrison Brothers Is Building A Boat
517 West 39th Street
Austin, Texas 78751

Please Include your name, your business name, your address, your email address and your phone number.

This offer applies to bartenders and bourbon drinkers only! It does not apply to current or former Garrison Brothers personnel. Only corks from the 2015 Vintage, Garrison Brothers Single Barrel and later vintages can be redeemed.

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Happy Father’s Day


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Unfiltered: Straight Bourbon and Peanut Butter


Garrison Brothers Bottle FillingIf you are a veteran bourbon drinker, you have probably seen the term “unfiltered” or “non-chill filtered” on a whiskey bottle. But what does that really mean?

When you buy a jar of organic, all natural, unfiltered peanut butter at the store, you fully expect a little oil to appear on the top of the peanut butter when you open the jar. You understand that peanuts contain oil. You understand that oils separate from solids. You understand that you just stir it up and you’re right back in business. When you buy a jar of commercially produced peanut butter, you will not see the oils (lipids/fatty acids) on the top of the peanut butter because the producer uses chemicals that dry out the oil. These chemicals also affect the taste and texture of the peanut butter.

StillLife3 copyBourbon is an agricultural product just like peanut butter but it is made from grain, water and wood. The same exact situation occurs with organic, all natural, unfiltered bourbon.

One of the beautiful aspects of whiskey, straight bourbon especially, is the color. Straight bourbon has a reddish crimson tint that glistens, shines and sparkles when held up to the light. The color comes from microscopic sugar crystals floating in the liquid, much of which are derived from the White American oak barrel that the bourbon has matured in. When the bourbon is freshly dumped from the barrel it does not have that crystalline glossiness. It’s a little bit murkier and cloudy with char and sediment from the bourbon barrel.

Bob Stickney Photography 011 copyTo make it shine, most commercial whiskey distilleries will cool the spirit down to below 50 degrees Fahrenheit by pushing the whiskey through a heat exchanger. When bourbon is colder than 50 degrees, the lipids, fatty acids and oils in the spirit, which come naturally from the grain and wood, begin to clump together.

The commercial distilleries then force the liquid through a plate filter. The plate filter has cloth or paper pads in it. The acids and oils attach to the paper pads and are left behind in the filter. This is how you make shiny whiskey.

You are more likely to see fatty acids and oils floating in bourbon than in scotch whiskey. Scotch makers remove the solids (the shells and grains) from the wash before they distill the alcohol. This is called sparging the wash. They use a lauter tun to do it. They only distill the liquid. Most of the fatty acids, lipids and oils are removed along with the solids. I only know of one bourbon maker in the United States who does this. I have tried their bourbon and did not much care for it. It lacked flavor.

Filtering BourbonSo for the bourbon connoisseur, it is a simple debate. Do you prefer bourbon that looks shiny but might have some of the flavor removed? Or do you want a full-flavored bourbon that might not be as shiny? Personally, I know my answer. I didn’t buy that bottle to hang it on the wall and show friends how shiny it is.

But there’s a downside to non-chill filtered bourbon whiskey. Recently, a retailer in Florida called me. “Your bourbon has been tainted,” he said. ”There’s something floating in it.” He was correct. His case of bourbon had been placed in an area of the warehouse with a serious draft. It was below 50 degrees. And what happens below 50 degrees? The fatty acids, oils and lipids clump together and it truly looks murky. I asked him to shake the bottle up. He did. And “ta da.”

If Garrison Brothers were to bottle all our bourbon at barrel proof – 135, 140 or 145 – that murkiness or clumping would not happen. But we like it at 94 proof, so we must add a little rainwater. That added water causes it to get murky when it is colder than 50 degrees.

If this ever happens to a bottle of Garrison Brothers that you’ve bought, please do not panic. Don’t go rushing off to the store to complain and please don’t send me the bottle; the feds won’t legally allow me to replace it or give you your money back. Instead, do this: Shake it!

(Shake it up baby now! Shake it up baby. Twist and shout. Twist and Shout. Come on, come on, come on, come on baby now. … Sorry, got distracted.)

As soon as you shake the bottle up, the cloudiness will disappear and that bottle of bourbon will taste and look delicious.

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Road Trip

Garrison Brothers Bourbon Excursion

This weekend, Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6, Garrison Brothers Distillery is taking over the legendary Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas for our first annual Bourbon Excursion. That’s right, we have pretty much blocked off every room in the hotel for the ultimate bourbon-fueled weekend. All the rooms at the hotel are already sold out.

If you’re a desert rat, prairie dog or chili cook, and don’t mind sleeping in a tent, there may still be a few tickets left for the concert and the dinner. Give The Gage a call to lock those down. (432) 386-4205

Friday night there will be a private concert at the Gage with Mark Powell and Lariat, from Abilene, Texas, which will begin outside the White Buffalo Bar at 7. Saturday night, Chef Brandon Waddell at the 12 Gage Restaurant will design, display and serve a special multi-course dinner pairing various exotic food courses with Garrison Brothers bourbon vintages and cocktails. The mouth-watering menu is below.

Given how quickly this event sold out, look for more invitations here soon for future Garrison Brothers Bourbon Excursions.

We look forward to spending a glorious weekend in West Texas with you. Salud!




Garrison Brothers Texas Bourbon Whiskey Dinner

Saturday, February 6, 2016
12 Gage Restaurant Patio


Confit Muscovy Duck Taquitos, Coloradito, Cilantro Crema, Cotija


Atlantic U-10 Sea Scallop, Farro, Yams, Cashews, Cherries, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pedro Jimenez Vinegar


Compart Farms 10-Bone Duroc Pork Loin, Coffee Rubbed and Smoked, Pickled Sour Apple, Acorn Squash, Caramelized Onion Jus

Au Revoir

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Spring 2015 Newsletter

Garrison Brothers

Badges? We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges.

According to Chapter 6 of the ominous Federal Code of Regulations regarding alcohol, there are “prescribed standards of fill” to which all distilleries must adhere. The only approved bottle sizes for distilled spirits bottled in the United States are: 1.75 Liters, 1 Liter, 750 ml, 375 ml, 200 ml, 100 ml and 50 ml.

The TABC code is even stranger here in Texas, where if you go to a liquor store and buy a teeny little 50ml bottle, you are required by law to buy two. Apparently, decades ago some legislator decided your buzz should endure for 44 seconds instead of 22.

If you are like me, these dictates sound like ”rules.” Personally, I can’t stand rules. In fact, I hate them so much that I spend every waking hour trying to bend the rules to benefit my business. Our master distiller Donnis Todd can’t stand rules either. So, the two of us came up with a way to get around the rules.

Let’s say, for example, every week a customer was to tell me he wants to buy a barrel of my bourbon. Not just a bottle … but an entire barrel. Were I to adhere to the above rule, it would be illegal for me to sell him that barrel.

Single-Barrel-Bottle-Black-Robs-smFortunately, rules are really just signposts along the way and there’s almost always a way around them. That is why it is with great pleasure that I am proud to introduce Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon, sold by the barrel and only by the barrel. This one breaks all the rules.

Here’s how it works: In 2011, we set aside 342 of the finest tasting, highest quality bourbon barrels on the ranch. We let those barrels mature in the Texas heat for three blistering years.

Then we started inviting Texans and other bourbon lovers to come out to the distillery and pick out a barrel. We give these visitors a little taste from a few select barrels and they decide which one they want.

Then we invite them to come back out a few weeks later and bottle the bourbon from their barrel. Once the bourbon is bottled, we ship the bourbon and the barrel to their local liquor store.

We thought it was a pretty cool idea. Others did too. Our good friend Mike Raymond who owns Reserve 101 in Houston, which has one of the state’s largest selections of fine bourbon whiskies, loved the idea. He was the first person to jump on board. His barrel has been bottled and is on the way to his bar right now. The bourbon from that barrel is exquisite. Every bottle he’ll receive has a special silver sticker that says “Hand-selected by master distiller Donnis Todd for Reserve 101.”

But Mike is not alone. Barrels are also en route to Saglimbeni’s Fine Wine and Spirits in San Antonio, where wonderful, friendly people gather each Saturday for tastings. Joe sent his entire staff out to select a barrel.

The Gaylord Texan in Grapevine reserved a barrel for their Silver Bar. Specs and Sigels ordered barrels. Twin Liquors and Goody Goody ordered barrels. Harley’s in Longview ordered barrels. Longhorn Liquor in Lumberton ordered a barrel. H&H/Costco ordered barrels. Western Beverage ordered barrels. Total Wine and More ordered a hundred barrels.

You should start seeing these beautiful bottles in stores any day now.


What’s most interesting about this program is that every barrel is unique. Every barrel has its own personality. Every barrel yields a slightly different flavor profile.

So, want your own barrel of bourbon? It WILL set you back a little. We estimate that each barrel will yield between 48 and 81 bottles and the suggested retail price is $109.99 per bottle. (Of course, each retailer will mark it up as they see fit; we can’t control that.) But you’re probably looking at $5,300 to $8,900 per barrel depending on the Angel’s Share losses during maturation.

If you want your own barrel of Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon, all you have to do is fill out this form and take it to your local liquor store. As of the date of this newsletter, just 99 barrels remain. They are sold “first-come-first served.” When they’re gone, they’re gone forever.


Rumors of our demise…

… have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, this little business did something in 2014 we’ve never done before. We turned a small profit. Seriously. And it only took us 11 years.

The profit may be tiny — not even enough to buy a bottle of our bourbon – but that’s okay. We’re damn proud to have reached this milestone. We want to say thanks to each and every one of you who bought a bottle of Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey. We could not have done it without your support.

And to all the venture capitalists and professional investors who told me it could never be done, you may now kiss my redneck ass!

Going. Going. Gone

Texas is and always will be home for us. And we are deeply indebted to all the Texans who put our bourbon on the map.

But in 2014, we decided to step outside our backyard a little. Today, Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Tennessee and Washington DC.

If you live in one of these states and haven’t seen a bottle on the shelf yet, please be patient with us. This is all so new that we don’t even know yet which retailers and bars are serving Garrison Brothers. If you wouldn’t mind asking your local retailer or bartender to bring in some Garrison Brothers, we’d sure appreciate the help.

We have not forgotten the American bad-asses who are stationed all over the world defending our country either. In 2014, we entered into a distribution agreement with EURPAC, a distributor that supplies American military bases, through which our bourbon is being distributed at U.S. military bases all over the world. Now, when American servicemen and servicewomen get to take their boots off after a long day, they can finish the day with a glass of good bourbon.

And I can promise that my brother Charlie, our master distiller Donnis Todd, and I are wearing out our own boots spreading the Garrison Brothers gospel. If we haven’t been to your store or bar yet, we will get there, and we look forward to meeting you.

Speaking of the Gospel, We Could Use Some Help Spreading It

If you have spent any time with our family in Hye, you’ve probably noticed we’re a pretty tight-knit group. We take care of our own. We take our corporate culture and core values seriously. For this reason, it makes me nervous as hell to bring on new people.

But growth is growth. And God knows we need the help. So, we are looking for new blood. There are two specific areas where we need help:

Bourbon Evangelists – If you believe in bourbon — real, authentic handmade bourbon — and love drinking it and talking about it, then we want to talk to you. We intend to hire and train at least four full-time people who will be Garrison Brothers Bourbon Evangelists. We’re looking immediately for help in Texas, California, Florida, New York and Illinois.

This business is all about relationships. A successful Bourbon Evangelist will be responsible for sales, sales support and brand building within a defined region. Our evangelists will be professional, honest and passionate about the brand and the customers we serve. Uncompromising ethics are a must. An Evangelist will call on accounts daily, create and staff events, train distributors, teach servers and earn the support of the local distributor’s sales teams.

Bourbon Evangelists will be expected to interact successfully with individuals ranging from retail store salespeople to restaurant owners and chain restaurant executives.

You will learn the job by training with our hospitality and production teams at the distillery in Hye. When they tell me you’re ready, you’ll hit the road with my brother and me for a few weeks. When we are sure you’re ready, we’ll set you free in your own territory. Bear in mind, this position is not for the faint of heart. There will be a ton of travel and we always write thank you notes.

Hospitality in Hye – We recently lost two of our favorite people who decided to pursue other careers. We’ve also recently opened a gift shop that is open seven days a week. At the same time we’re expanding the number and scope of the events we host in Hye. As a result, we need some help at the distillery in Hye. The job is part tour guide, part gift shop attendant, and part educator.

If you like the idea of getting your hands dirty, and if you are comfortable greeting crowds and can do so with a warm, Texas smile on your face, this might be the spot for you.

If these positions sounds intriguing, you can read the full job descriptions below. Instructions for applying are there as well.

Texas Country Reporter – We’re On The Air

Hill-Country-Reporter-pic-from-FBEach time I watch Texas Country Reporter with Bob Phillips, it brings back youthful memories of growing up in Houston. I can remember waking up on a weekend and the entire family would watch CBS News Sunday Mornings with Charles Kuralt. There was also Eyes of Texas with KPRC’s Ron Stone.

Like these great journalists before him, Bob Phillips is a masterful storyteller. So it was our great pleasure to have Bob and his crew come bottle bourbon with us last fall. And, as always, Bob managed to capture well the essence of the Garrison Brothers family in his segment on us that is airing across the state now.

Please give us 5 minutes to watch this:

The Road Goes On Forever

If you’ve taken the time to visit the events page at www.garrisonbros.com, then you’re aware that when we’re not in Hye distilling or bottling bourbon, our staff is out on the road sharing our bourbon with new friends in faraway places.

If you are one of those strange people who does not tire of our worn out bullshit, please come have a drink with us. Here are a few upcoming events where we can all get together for a drink.

  • Single Barrel Tasting Party with Dan Garrison and Mike Raymond at Reserve 101 in Houston – Tuesday, April 7 from 6:30 to 9.
  • Bourbon Pairing Dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Dallas with general manager Chris Petruska – Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 6 to 9 pm

To make reservations and for a complete list of all the fandangos we have planned this spring and summer, please visit www.garrisonbros.com/garrison-brothers-events. All these events will sell out quickly.

Back at the Ranch

If you can’t find Garrison Brothers at a bar or store near your home, you can always come drink with us in Hye. You can smell and taste the corn cooking; walk through the fermentation rooms; nose and taste the “White Dog”; sample a little bourbon from one of our releases; and ask all the questions you want. Trail bosses Stephanie, Chris and Shine will make you feel right at home.

We offer tours and tastings Wednesday through Sunday at 10, noon, 2 and 4. Reservations can be made here: http://www.garrisonbros.com.

And our new gift shop – the Hye Atop Bottle Shop — is open seven days a week. Mondays and Tuesday until 4. Every other day we are open until 5.

Finally, you don’t have to come all the way to Hye to pick up some Garrison Brothers gear. We’ve launched Garrison Brothers’ Dry Goods Store. There you’ll find t-shirts, whiskey nosing glasses, hats, bumper stickers and cool bourbon shit.

Thanks for staying with us to the end. Vaya con Dios. Have a great spring and summer and Drink Texas Bourbon!

Kind regards,


Dan Garrison

Proprietor and Distiller

posted by admin in Spring 2015 Newsletter and have Comments (2)