Texas Bourbon News

Texas Born from Texas Corn

Texas Bourbon News, Fall 2010

New Bottle with Garrison Brothers Tag

2008 Signature Vintage

Ya’ll may want to saddle-up your horses…

Our flagship bourbon, Garrison Brothers’ Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey, will be on liquor store shelves throughout Blanco and Gillespie Counties on Wednesday, November 3rd.

There, I feel better. Now let’s talk about bourbon.

Garrison Brothers’ Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Garrison Brothers Flagship Bourbon Bottle

Our Flagship Bourbon

The 2008 Signature Vintage of Garrison Brothers’ Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is THE bourbon we set out to make more than five years ago. Made by hand from a sweet mash of organic Texas corn, soft red winter wheat, two-row malted barley, and pure Hill Country rainwater, bourbon doesn’t get much better than this. The 2008 Vintage has a rich velvety nose of caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, nutmeg, and coconut. But the real character is revealed in the finish—long, smooth, and buttery, like warm, caramelized sugar crackling and melting across your tongue.

The Signature 2008 Vintage has been bottled at 94 proof. Each custom 750ml-sized bottle proudly displays the Texas star. Each bottle is hand-dipped in wax, hand-numbered and signed by the distiller.

Looking at the color before tasting

Looking at the color before tasting

This is the smoothest bourbon whiskey we’ve ever tasted. It should be savored slowly, at bottle proof, or perhaps with a little water or soda. Let the bourbon breathe before you take your first pour.  Bear in mind that this bourbon comes straight from the barrel. It is NOT chill-filtered because to do so would be a sin. So, when you add a little ice or water, it will get cloudy. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

The barrels that comprise this release were placed in our barn to mature in the summer of 2008. However, just 36 barrels were selected for this release so that means only about 1,800 bottles will be sold. We hope you get your hands on one.

Make More Bourbon, Damn It!

BarnRicks-sm

Bourbon Barrels

Yeah, I know. We’re not making enough bourbon. Those who have tasted it want to know when they can get it in their favorite bar or local liquor store. Due to the outrageous demand, we knew we needed to raise money to expand the operation. So Fred, Donnis and I had a little meeting back in July to tackle that issue head on.

Fred Koch, our operations manager, suggested we take a page from the Stonewall Volunteer Fire Department. “Whenever they need money,” he explained, “they hold a fish fry.” It sounded like a good idea to me. But then our financially-minded production manager, Donnis Todd, astutely pointed out that “there was no way we were going to raise millions of American dollars with a ridiculous $4-a-plate fish fry.” Ever positive, he suggested that we partner that idea with a gun raffle and washer-pitching tournament.

Genius!

Concrete Slab for New Kitchen

Concrete Slab for New Kitchen

Sure enough, this August we closed a significant round of expansion capital through a private placement offering and started building our new bourbon kitchen. A smarter, talented friend of ours — a saint, actually — spent the summer creating full-blown engineering plans and has kept our feet to the fire during construction. The kitchen is well underway now. New cookers, stills and fermentation tanks are being built to our specifications and we should be making bourbon — lots more bourbon – starting in the spring of 2011.

Hammer your own barrel

Escaping Bourbon

Those who have been out to see us in Hye can take heart. We’ll still make every bottle by hand. Visitors can still taste the mash from the cooker and sample the white dog as it comes off the still. And you can still hammer a bung into a barrel and sign the barrel. But the next time you come visit, we’ll have many more barrels from which to choose.

Making Bourbon This Good is Expensive! You can help too.

Garrison Brothers' Gear

Garrison Brothers' Gear

Every month we’re cooking 30,000 pounds of the most expensive corn in the world and we’re filling 80 equally expensive, slow-growth White American Oak barrels. So, yeah, we’re burning through some cash.

To take the edge off, we’ve launched Garrison Brothers’ Dry Goods Store on our website. You’ll find some nice t-shirts and bumper stickers there. Please take a look and consider buying one. Each time you do, it enables us to make a little more bourbon.

If you really want to get involved, please consider joining our ambassador association, The Old 300. If you choose to join, I can personally guarantee you’ll soon know more about fine bourbon whiskey than anyone else in Texas and you’ll have a great time learning.

Hye Society

The weekend of September 10 was Bourbon Camp at Garrison Brothers Distillery. What is Bourbon Camp? Well, it’s more fun than any camp you went to as a kid. There are fewer ghost stories and pillow fights. And it’s only for our Old 300 Members.

Dan-and-Nancy lights-sm Taylor-Sherwood-015-sm

This year, about thirty of our Old 300 Ambassadors came roaring through Hye to spend a full day and night making and enjoying fine bourbon. It was also a great excuse for us to show off our new barrel barn.

Taylor-Sherwood-009-sm Taylor-Sherwood-008-sm Taylor-Sherwood-006-sm

We started early in the morning with breakfast and bourbon in the form of Hill Country Sunrises (Garrison Brothers’ bourbon, orange juice and a splash of prickly pear puree). For lunch we enjoyed crispy fried chicken drizzled in pecan-bourbon sauce, red potato salad and bourbon-bread pudding. Lunch cocktails were John Daly’s (Garrison Brothers’ bourbon, iced tea and fresh-squeezed lemonade). All these fabulous meals were catered by our good friends at the Silver K Café in Johnson City.

Taylor-Sherwood-014-sm Taylor-Sherwood-011-sm

During dinner, we enjoyed a comparative tasting of wheated bourbons: Pappy Van Winkle 20-year old, Weller 12-year old, Colorado Gold 2-year old and Garrison Brothers’ Signature 2008 Vintage, of course. We also tried a little Elmer T. Lee to see if folks could identify the rye. Then, we danced under the stars to the guitar of Scooter Pearce.

If you’re an Old 300 Member and you couldn’t make Bourbon Camp 2010, please plan on attending the next gathering in the fall of 2011. We’ll let Old 300 Members know the date soon. If you’d like to join The Old 300, here’s how.

Adios to The Young Gun

Snow-Day-Release-005-sm

Texas Independence Day

As many of ya’ll know, we introduced the first whiskey and the first bourbon ever made in Texas on Texas Independence Day (March 2, 2010). These 100-proof “pre-release” bottles sold out in about 48 hours and have quickly become collectors’ items. According to one liquor store owner in Blanco, “This is our 15th year in business and we’ve never seen anything like it. People were coming from everywhere.”  We sent a few bottles to some friends in Kentucky to say thanks for all their help getting us to this stage.

If you still have a bottle, you may not want to crack that wax seal just yet. We were delighted to learn that one sold recently for $1,100 for a good cause at a charity auction in Horseshoe Bay. We also heard an unconfirmed report that a bottle was put up for sale on eBay and bidding went to $1,800 before the auction was closed down (that’s illegal ya’ll). There are still a few bottles at Garrison Brothers’ Distillery and we use them for small tasting samples for our visitors.

But when they’re gone, they’re gone.

When Can I Get A Bottle?

A select tasting

Nectar

Today, more than 900 barrels are aging in our barns. The bourbon is getting better every day. We visit the barrels once a month and take samples. Fortunately, complexity and character come quick around here, but still, we will not bottle any bourbon before its time!

As soon as the bottled bourbon leaves our distillery on its way to stores, restaurants and bars, we’ll let members of The Old 300 know first where they can buy a bottle. They’ll help spread the word.

Texas, please bear with us a while longer. I promise you, the whiskey is worth the wait!

Distillery Tours and Tastings

Garrison Brothers' original still

The Copper Cowgirl

If you don’t buy all this fancy propaganda about how good our bourbon is, then come on out and taste it for yourself. We’re still not “officially” open for tours, but if you’re willing to call first and schedule a “sit and sip,” we’ll do our best to roll out the red carpet. Also, since the law prohibits us from selling you a bottle direct from the distillery, and they won’t let us charge for tastings, know in advance that we’re going to ask you to buy a t-shirt.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas. We’ll check back in with ya’ll in the spring.

Kind regards,

Dan Garrison

dan-garrison-sig

Proprietor and Distiller

posted by Dan Garrison in Fall 2010 Newsletter and have Comments (24)

24 Responses to “Texas Bourbon News, Fall 2010”

  1. Mike Fuller says:

    Do you sell those tasting glasses in some of your pictures with the Garrison Brothers engravings ?

  2. Lloyd Reed says:

    We hope to be out youlls way early(9-10 )Nov. Will call for a SITand SIP. Also well check and see ware to get a bottle to bring home OH, YES we will pick up a tee shirt…

  3. Rick Burnett says:

    Will there be any places in the Dallas area where you can get a bottle? Thanks very much!

  4. bill owens says:

    Nice newsletter!

    bill

  5. David Bowers says:

    keep the news coming

  6. Jim Korn says:

    Thanks for the good news!
    Stay in touch and send some Hye Life to CA ASAP!!

  7. Johnny Frederick says:

    I can’t wait. Which stores and do you know the price I want to reserve a bottle now

  8. Tom Nall says:

    Great newsletter Dan….keep-on, keepin’ on!
    With Friendship,
    Tom Nall….since 1943

  9. I have already reserved mine at Judy’s Liquor 411 S. Washington Street Fredericksburg, TX 78624. Phone: (830) 997-5822. I can’t wait. Thanks Dan.

  10. Jene Switzer says:

    Hey Dan! Thanks for the Heads-up on the new release! I’ve got my name on the list already. Chardonnay says to tell you “Hello” & she hopes your still getting good use out of those 304 Stainless Steal Barrels we loaned you so many years ago! Looking forward to getting a chance to come out & visit you again sometime this Winter, till then keep up the Good Work! We know it’s a lot of Hard Long Hours, Days, Weeks, & Months, it gets to where the all kind of Blur! We know because we do it everyday ourselves. I’m still working 20 days on 1 day off! 15 years now we’ve been open to the public! Till our next meet…..Here’s to TEXAS! Jene Switzer Wine Master Fredericksburg Winery

  11. Shannon McCann says:

    Can’t wait for ours! We’re going to serve it at our Lasagna Feast on December 19. You and Nancy put it on your calendar. Kids, pets and presents welcome! Ha!
    Love,
    Shannon & Bill

  12. Ben Keller says:

    At last! The news I have been waiting for since we came for a sit and sip back in August! I can finally get my hands on some of the best damn bourbon I’ve ever tasted! Do you know of any liquor stores that are taking reservations? I want to make sure that I’m not left out in the cold come November 3rd. Not without some great Texas bourbon to keep me warm anyway…

  13. Dan Garrison says:

    Thanks for the great feeedback ya’ll. Al Gore haasn’t brought the Internet to Hye yet, so my late replies are from a truck stop parking lot with WIFI.

    I understand the stores in Fredericksburg may have waiting lists and one may already be sold out. Strongly suggest calling them — soon. No, I can’t provide their names or numbers. State law. Sorry. (But I noticed the ugly guy in the picture above did!)

    We sell our nosing glasses at the stillhouse. Come visit and we’ll get you a shirt too.

    As always, sincere thanks for all your support.

    We hope to expand distribution statewide during the next couple of years.

  14. Dan Garrison says:

    Gene,

    We’re still using your tanks. In fact, they’re all full right now. Yell at me if you ever need them back. We owe you one. Regards to Chardonnay!

  15. Irene C. Garza says:

    What is name of store in Blanco and do you have their phone number?

  16. Ken Sealey says:

    Thanks for the “head’s up”. My bottles are reserved in Fredericksburg. Can hardly wait to try the 2 year old stuff. Will see you folks in Hye over Thanksgiving with some Bourbon lovers from D.C. and VA.

  17. Dan Garrison says:

    Irene,

    Believe it or not, its illegal for us to list the names and phone numbers of retailers who sell our bourbon. I’ll bet you could Google Hill Country Liquors in Blanco and you might find a satisfactory result.

  18. Tanguy from Michigan says:

    Hi Dan, Congratulations! You did it again.
    Have reserved 2 bottles and can’t wait to get my hands on it.
    Take care Buddy!

  19. Don Voges says:

    I just called Judy’s in Fredericksburg and reserved some and they said they have about half of thier stock left. I am out of town and will be back Friday I can’t wait to have a nip or 8 or 10
    I want to come back and take another tour. I want another nip of the white lighting that comes out of the still that’s good just like that. Dan keep up the good work.

  20. when is coming to South Texas.

  21. Garrison says:

    Hoping we’ll be in South Texas in 2011, 2012 at the latest.
    I hear there are a few bottles left in Fredericksburg and in Hye. So, if ya’ll want to pick them up as Christmas presents and bring them by the distillery this weekend, I’m happy to write personal notes on the back of the bottles for friends. Be out there making whiskey Saturday and Sunday. Stop by.

  22. Congrats!! So glad to hear you all had a great response to the GB Bourbon~ I know it was worth all the stress and hard work. Hope we get to see it in S. FLA soon! Cheers, Capts. Scott and Cara

  23. Adam E Runk Jr says:

    Looking for a store that will sell and ship. Does anyone know where I can purchase a couple of bottles and have them shipped to Virginia?

  24. Dan Garrison says:

    Adam,

    Unfortunately, it is illegal in Texas for liquor stores to ship distilled spirits. Sorry, afraid you’ll have to find a friend here to help you out.

    Dan

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