Garrison Brothers Small Batch 2018

"Very good bourbon from Texas with a good balance between the bitter and sweet notes"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Today we have another bourbon made in Texas. In fact, Garrison Brothers claims to be the first legally produced Texas bourbon. Their bourbon is distilled from #1 food-grade corn, soft red winter wheat from local farms, and two row barley. Their flagship is the small batch that is released each year. The 2018 Vintage, distilled in 2013, was drawn from 498 barrels making it the distillery’s largest release to date at over 60,000 750 ml bottles. Interestingly, the spirit initially entered at about 114 proof, while four years later it is said to increase to 115.7 proof. This is likely caused by the dry and hot climate combined with the large swings in temperature during day and night, which also accelerates the extraction of components from the wood. 

Nose

Good solid nose that feels somewhere between the (often too) young craft bourbons and the older Kentucky ones. The usual oranges, cakes, cinnamon muffins with a thread of pepper through the whole. A faint sense of something floral, distant fruits (raspberry, strawberry developing into black berries and blue berries) and caramel. The nose comes very well together and the balance is pretty perfect between the bitter and sweet notes. More cookies, white chocolate, white pepper, a beautiful note of peanut butter (and I do not like peanut butter) and lovely development into mocha. 

Taste

Orange zest, cinnamon cake, milk chocolate, cardamon, again a clear sense of pepper. It coats the mouth very well with lots of little a variety of the above mentioned notes. Slightly astringent bitterness of tangerines, grapefruit and oranges, which is still all right since it is balanced by caramel, coffee beans, peanut butter and milk chocolate. Decent length of the aftertaste with more of the same.

Overall

This is a really good bourbon, that approaches the quality of the good Kentucky bourbons. Very well balanced, enough power, and enough interaction with the wood, but also not too much (young wood). A distillery to keep an eye on when they will be more widely avaialble over here.

What others say

Whiskybase: 86.21 (18 votes) * @Distiller: 84/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
45%
Sweet <-> Spicy
50%
  • Oranges
  • Peanut butter
  • Mocha
Nose 88%
Taste 86.5%
Balance 87%
Depth 87%
Finish 86.5%
Score