Garrison Brothers Distillery, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas, announced today the second release of their multi-award-winning twice-barreled bourbon, Balmorhea. Whiskey aficionados around the globe have undoubtedly heard the Garrison Brothers and Balmorhea names often over the past few months — the bourbon recently won numerous awards in spirit contests across the US and received glowing reviews in top industry publications.
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, the most comprehensive guide to whiskey ever written, named Garrison Brothers Balmorhea Twice-Barreled Bourbon “American Micro Whiskey of the Year” for 2019. The Garrison Brothers team will celebrate the accolade by releasing the bourbon in a larger format bottle with a party at their Hye, Texas, distillery on May 4. Only 504 bottles will be available on release day.
Named after the majestic West Texas swimming hole, Balmorhea is the only twice-barreled 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 made from trees grown in Minnesota and aged for another two years. The prized liquid is bottled at 57.5% alc/vol or 115 proof and comes from a sweet mash bill, like all of Garrison Brothers’ releases. Master Distiller Donnis Todd describes Balmorhea 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 soothe? The Manuka honey smeared over the overcooked fruit cake? The salty, deep tannin that is 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 committed to both producing good bourbon and using that good bourbon to change the world.
In January 2019, Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery, presented the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation with a $30,000 donation from Good Bourbon for a Good Cause, a 501(c)(3) public charity formed by Garrison and his employees. The funds were earmarked for the restoration, preservation, and beautification of Balmorhea State Park, which shuttered due to structural damage in May 2018. Garrison Brothers stepped in to host a series of fundraising pool parties and pledged to donate a portion of Balmorhea Bourbon’s sales to repair the shuttered pool. On March 1, 2019, Balmorhea State Park reopened just in time for swimming season.
Garrison Brothers will celebrate the second release of Balmorhea Twice Barreled Bourbon with a party at their distillery in Hye, Texas, on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Dubbed the Balmorhea Social, the daytime party will feature armadillo races, distillery tours, bourbon flights, bites by Chef Joseph Moreno, and live music by Micah Wagner. Distillery gates will open at 10 a.m. and the festivities will last until 5:30 p.m.
One lucky attendee will win the chance to join Master Distiller Donnis Todd as he tastes his way through the Garrison Brother’s rick house to find the perfect barrels for the 2020 release of Balmorhea. 55 barrels went into making the 2019 release. One special bottle will be labeled with “#55” and placed on gift shop shelves. The patron who purchases it will win barrel selection rights for the following year. Bourbon lovers are encouraged to keep an eye on Garrison Brother’s Instagram page for teasers and more info.
504 bottles of Balmorhea Twice Barreled Bourbon will be available at the distillery in Hye, Texas, for $139.99 beginning May 4. The remaining 5,496 bottles will be distributed to select liquor stores, bars, and restaurants throughout Texas and the other 26 states and military bases where Garrison Brothers is sold. Bottles will be available for purchase nation-wide the week of May 13.