Garrison Brothers Distillery, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas, announced the 2020 release of its limited-edition, highly-anticipated Cowboy Bourbon. This uncut, unfiltered, limited-edition bourbon comes from barrels hand-selected by the distillery’s master distiller. Those barrels are then set aside for several more years for further maturation and the liquid is bottled at cask-strength—this year’s batch clocks in at 133.9 proof. Cowboy Bourbon has become known as the crown jewel of Garrison Brothers’ Texas bourbon family, hence the hand-dipped, gold wax seal.
Although the Garrison Brothers team produced a total of 6,768 (750-mL) bottles, only 1,000 bottles will be available for purchase at the distillery’s drive-thru purchasing event on Saturday, September 26. Gates will open at 8 a.m., but patrons are encouraged to arrive early if they’d like to secure a bottle.
“Cowboy Bourbon typically sells out within a few hours of its release,” said Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas. “Last year we sold out in a record 58 minutes! Cars began lining up at 5 a.m. on release day even though the distillery gates didn’t open until noon. By 10 a.m., our little farm road was backed up to the highway and the Blanco County sheriff drove by and forced us to open the gates early. Our family and fans seem even more excited about this year’s release.”
They’re excited with good reason. Cowboy Bourbon was named “American Micro Whiskey of the Year” in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible once in 2014 and again in 2017. Balmorhea, the distillery’s first twice-barreled bourbon, was awarded the same distinction in 2019 and 2020.
Master distiller Donnis Todd created the 2020 edition of Cowboy Bourbon by fusing 100 of his favorite top-shelf barrels, which he calls his “piggy banks.”
“I taste every single barrel, and sometimes, I come across one that’s almost completely empty,” said Todd. “The liquid just evaporates in the Texas heat—”angel’s share.” But the small amount of bourbon that remains inside those barrels is pure gold. That’s why I call them my piggy banks—the precious liquid they contain is what becomes Cowboy year after year.”
That liquid goes into the bottle straight from the barrel. The result is an unfiltered, cask-strength bourbon bottled at 133.9 proof or 66.95% alc/vol. Founder and proprietor Dan Garrison describes this year’s release like this:
Deceptive aroma of firewater, firewood, and freshly cut cedar. Clears sinuses instantly. Unexpected sweet flavors of caramel candy, toasted figs, scorched molasses, toasted honey, plum jelly, creamy coffee liqueur, sugary cinnamon apple pie sugar, and crust. Gum puckering, tongue-numbing oily goodness. King-like uber-bourbon.
5,768 bottles of Cowboy Bourbon™ will be distributed to liquor stores, bars, and restaurants, as well as military bases across the 35 states where Garrison Brothers is sold. Each bottle, priced at $199, comes packaged in a custom-built American white oak gift box lined with a satin pillow and weighty medallion emblazoned with the release year around the bottle’s neck.
“It will sell out,” said Garrison, “even at the Texas law limit of two bottles per person per 30 days. Don’t ask for a taste; we won’t sample it. Don’t show up a week later looking for it; it’ll be gone. And no, we cannot hold, reserve, or take payments by phone or email. That’s all illegal. If you do find yourself blessed with a bottle of this and share it with someone you love, you will be helping us change the world.”