Filed Under: We heard the best bourbon comes from Kentucky. But isn't Hye in Texas?
Overview: Handcrafted, small-barrel bourbon whiskey that's hand-made from Texas-grown ingredients at the oldest legal whiskey distillery in Texas, under the direction of a man (Mr. Dan Garrison) who's committed to distilling the right way, not the way that will earn the quickest buck. Bottles are signed and numbered by Dan, and identify the corn variety, harvesting farm, and harvest date, telling you the special story of the special stuff inside
Appreciate: That founder Dan Garrison is serious about making the best bourbon, anywhere. A visit to the distillery in Hye, or even just reading the Garrison Brothers newsletters, will quickly convince you that Dan approaches bourbon-making with the passion of an epicurean, the veracity of a purist, and the knowledge of a professor. He is a student of craft distilling, so much so that he is now an expert artisan distiller, himself. And how's this for artisan: Distilled on Vendome copper alembic pot stills, using hand-selected, hand-ground organic Texas corn (some years yellow, and more recently, white), wheat, and barley; no added flavoring, no added wood chips, no added wood spirals, no blends, nothing imported from elsewhere yet branded as "from Texas"
Know: Garrison Brothers bourbon is vintage bourbon. From one year to the next, the release is just a little bit different, and arguably a little bit better, than the year before. And for such a young distillery, it nevertheless manages to produce whiskey that is as complex as bourbon that has been aged for many more years. Much of this is owing to the use of new, small barrels, and much is owed to the Texas weather. Fluctuations between cool and extreme heat in the Central Texas climate makes the bourbon cycle in and out of the the barrel's fresh, flavor-intense wood, infusing it with essences at a pace not achieved in cooler climates. Take note, Kentucky: their barrels may be smaller, but Garrison Brothers is making big use of little time
Special Comments: If you're a fan of both Garrison Brothers Bourbon and history, consider becoming a member of The Old 300. Named after the original 300 homesteader families in Texas, The Old 300 is an exclusive association of bourbon drinkers who are interested in maximizing their education and appreciation of Garrison Brothers whiskey, as well as helping the young distillery with its early growth. For $2,000, membership confers many benefits, including a trip to Bourbon Camp at the Garrison Brothers Distillery. There, among other things, you'll make your own bourbon and personally select an American oak barrel to age it in. Years later, you can buy the very whiskey you had a hand in making, and even more cool, you'll get the barrel it was aged in after it's been prepped, brass-plated with your name and details, and outfitted with a spigot. You'll then receive $1,000 of your initial membership payment back, so this is really a one-k investment in a once in a lifetime opportunity. Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you history from Hye, Texas
Cost: Suggested retail is around $70
See it: Here.