For Garrison Brothers’ new bourbon, the barrel it ages in has never been so important.
The Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon, already available for purchase at the Hye distillery, is coming to liquor store shelves soon — and a bottle at one store might not taste quite like a bottle at another store. That’s a deliberate result of the distillery, helmed by Dan Garrison, choosing to use only one barrel per batch of bourbon to highlight all the different tasting profiles and flavor complexities that an oak barrel can impart on whiskey.
A three-year-old, 94-proof big brother to the distillery’s flagship bourbon, the Single Barrel Bourbon is “made from organic Panhandle corn, soft red winter wheat, two-row malted barley and pure, clean Hill Country rainwater,” just like its predecessor, according to a press release.
Unlike the Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey, however, the single-barrel version is being sold by the barrel to any interested Texas liquor stores or whiskey lovers (and if any barrels are left over, they’ll be available to retail shops outside the state). Each of the 342 15-gallon barrels Garrison devoted to the project can produce anywhere from 48 to 81 bottles of bourbon, depending on the angels’ share, or the amount of whiskey lost to evaporation during its maturation in barrels, and if a store wants one, they ” must agree to acquire every bottle that a particular barrel yields,” according to the press release.
However, they’ll only be charged for the number of bottles produced from their chosen barrel — and the price tag isn’t cheap.
“It’ll set you back a little,” Garrison said in the press release. “The cost of a barrel could range from $5,300 to $8,900, depending on how many bottles each barrel yields.”
Despite the cost, he noted that “the response to our Single Barrel Bourbon has been overwhelming,” outselling the flagship bourbon at the distillery even though it’s more expensive — perhaps because the idea of having such a distinctive whiskey is a big draw for fans of the dark aged spirit.
If liquor store owners or whiskey connoisseurs are interested in purchasing some Single Barrel Bourbon, they can drive out to the Garrison Brothers distillery, taste samples from different barrels and pick out the one they like the best. But the whiskey won’t be ready right away: according to the press release, it can take up to 4 months to get the bourbon bottled (with custom silver labels featuring the buyer’s name) and shipped off.
Of course, whoever placed such a large order can keep the barrel they chose, too.