In the SWS Academy Room, members enjoyed delicious cocktails created by Max Solano and mixed by guild members Adam Carol & Manny Garcia. There was an extremely quaffable winter-spiced version of an Old Fashioned and a very zippy Whiskey Shandy (both went down too easy)!
“Lone Star Shandy”
Some of the best things in life are, laughter, good times and good whiskey. Charlie Garrison brought them all. He is one of the owners of Garrison Brothers; along with his brother Dan Garrison, they make a Texas style artisan bourbon that is receiving a lot of attention in the bourbon world.
Charlie had us riveted, as we listened to tales of the 1st legal distillery in Texas. His stories of lobbying Texas legislature and mitigating the crazy genius of his partner & brother Dan Garrison were one of a kind. It is apparent that there is much soul and life in his distillery.
But what mattered most, was in the glass! The table was sat with the 2015 vintage of Garrison Brothers as well as the single barrel. It was a freestyle tasting; Mr Garrison invited us to sip and take our own conclusions.
He emphasized the effect of the micro-climate in Texas where the temperature swing is often 40 degrees in one day. Also the treatment of the barrels; they in fact, need to be “dry-aged” in order to withstand the unique climate and avoid bursting. The interaction between the barrel and the juice is very unique.
They also use food-grade organic white-winter wheat and panhandle white corn, which are both very expensive. But they do show sense of place along with the rainwater used for dilution. All make a great base for this one-of-a kind bourbon.
There has even been interest from the boys from Kentucky. Bourbon god, Booker Noe has taken interest in this bourbon microclimate. There is much to be said about the unique limestone aquifer which has a very hight mineral content. So much so, the water has an odor to it. As Charlie says, “you can’t shower in it, but it makes great whiskey!”
At the end of seminar, we had the chance to sample over 20 different single barrels and purchase the barrel of our choice! Dangerous for many of us whiskey lovers! But then again, most bartenders live for this kind of delicious danger!
Garrison Brothers, thank you so much. We will see you at the bar!