Garrison Brothers Distillery Wins American Micro Whiskey of the Year
Garrison Brothers Distillery announced that the most comprehensive guide to whiskey ever written, Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible, has named Garrison Brothers Balmorhea Double Barrel Bourbon “The American Micro Whiskey of the Year” for 2019. This prestigious distinction is highly coveted among whiskey producers, but this isn’t the first time Garrison Brothers has won the award. It's not the second, either. This is, in fact, the third occasion whiskey guru Jim Murray has given a bourbon in the Garrison Brothers portfolio the accolade of best in America.
Named after the majestic West Texas swimming hole, Balmorhea is the only double-barrelled bourbon in the Garrison Brothers family. That means it is aged three years in new American white oak barrels made from wood grown in the Ozarks, then the liquid is transferred to a second new American white oak barrel from trees grown in Minnesota and aged another two years. Bottled at 57.5% alc/vol or 115 proof, the prized liquid comes from a sweet mash bill, like all of the hill country distillery’s releases. Garrison Brothers Master Distiller Donnis Todd describes it as “bourbon candy, frozen fudgesicle bars, amaretto coffee with cream, sticky buns and pecan brittle. Thick white chocolate syrup.”
Whiskey connoisseur Jim Murray’s assessment is equally poetic:
“Where do you start…? With the French toast? The molasses on sourdough bread? The spices which simultaneously prickle yet sooth? The Manuka honey smeared over the overcooked fruitcake? The salty, deep tannin...incredible …just incredible….! The sugars form a toasty, sonorous shield that looks as though they are to batter all before them…then melt into a buttery softness. The molasses are in concentrated form, the toastiness profound with the bitter-sweet balance always spot on. The flavor softens in intensity and lowers in weight, as a good finale should, but never loses its shape or integrity. With the characteristics shown earlier until the very final fade; the quality of their whiskey is simply ridiculous. The smaller independent distilleries from outside Kentucky are just not supposed to be this good…. If it doesn’t win some kind of Whiskey Bible gong, then the standard this year must be extraordinary.”
Extraordinary is a choice word for the Garrison Brothers team. This family of bourbon makers and bourbon drinkers is not only committed to producing good bourbon, but also to using that good bourbon to change the world.
“For every bottle of Balmorhea Bourbon sold this year, we will donate $5 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to restore Balmorhea State Park’s pool,” says Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery.
"The park is in dire need of some tender loving care, and we want to continue giving back to the springs that have given so much to generations of Texas families."
Texas Parks and Wildlife officials closed Balmorhea’s swimming pool when structural damage to the concrete apron under the diving board was discovered during the pool’s annual cleaning in May. Garrison Brothers stepped in to host a series of pool parties aimed at raising funds to repair the shuttered pool this summer.
"Balmorhea State Park is a Texas treasure,” said Garrison. “We’re going to continue working closely with Texas Parks and Wildlife to enhance and revitalize the park and visitor experience! We want to show the world the power of good bourbon and good people. And when the pool reopens, we are hoping to throw the largest pool party anyone’s ever seen out there—with Texas Parks and Wildlife’s blessing, of course.”
Dan and Nancy Garrison and Master Distiller Donnis Todd have formed a 501(c)(3) public charity called Good Bourbon for a Good Cause. The corporation is organized exclusively for charitable purposes. Good Bourbon for a Good Cause will make distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The public charity will accept tax deductible contributions from individuals and organizations who want to help restore Balmorhea State Park.
Other causes they support include:
- Organizations that help current or former military veterans and their families
- Organizations that help former military personnel get back to leading a rewarding life
- Organizations that help veterans recover from debilitating medical, mental, or psychological challenges
- Organizations that preserve Texas’ nature, wildlife, green spaces, or historical treasures.
- Organizations that the staff of Garrison Brothers Distillery wishes to support.
This is not the first time Garrison Brothers Distillery has wielded the power of Good Bourbon for a Good Cause. In 2017, the distillery introduced Operation Hurricane Tough, promising a small bottle of a limited release bourbon in exchange for a $100 contribution to disaster relief organization Team Rubicon. In just 72 hours they raised more than $150,000 for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Today, both Garrison Brothers and Team Rubicon continue helping disaster victims across the U.S.
To donate restricted money for the re-construction, preservation, and beautification of Balmorhea State Park, donors can send contributions to Balmorhea Blue at Good Bourbon for a Good Cause. 517 West 39th Street, Austin, Texas 78751. Please include your name, email address, address, and phone number.
Balmorhea Bourbon is available in liquor stores, bars and restaurants throughout Texas.