Even back then, if bourbon was your firewater of choice, you probably weren't drinking anything made in the Lone Star State. Now you can.
Garrison Brothers Distillery, located in the Hill Country hamlet of Hye, is the first-ever bourbon distillery in Texas. (And yes, contrary to popular belief, true bourbon can be made outside of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Law dictates that Bourbon must be a whiskey made of at least 51% corn and undergo two years aging in new, charred oak barrels, among other things, but there are no geographical limitations.)
After calling to set up an appointment on a balmy Saturday afternoon, we were met by owner Dan Garrison in his small, yet busy stillhouse. He and his ragtag staff are literally working around the clock to brew their whiskey. Like any Texan, Dan is proud of what he's got going, and he has every right to be.
And one that's apparently quite popular. The 2008 vintage was released on November 3rd and within ten days, all 1,800 bottles had been snapped up -- reportedly to a tune of nearly $90 for each 750ml vessel.
Dan doesn't apologize for the price, nor should he. The batch we tasted was simply the smoothest bourbon to ever cross my lips. Normally, I like my whiskey on the rocks -- even the premium brands tend to open up a bit with a slowly melting ice cube or two. The Garrison Brothers we sampled was served neat -- and what a pleasure it was. Smooth without being syrupy, warming without burning, with all the vanilla and caramel flavors that define a good bourbon.
Photos taken from the Garrison website... I was an idiot and forgot my camera.