Made in Texas

Think all bourbon comes from Kentucky? Think again.

"From the first day, we were going to do it right," Garrison says. "That's what I'm most proud of."

Garrison's perfectionism has made him a darling of the state's whiskey drinkers, who pounced on the opportunity to help him bottle bourbon last month.

"We sat down and had a management meeting, Fred, Donnis and me," Garrison says, referring to his operations staff. "We were all bleary-eyed and Donnis said, 'How many bottles do you want to bottle? How in the hell are we going to bottle all that bourbon?' I said, 'Well, let's ask people to come join up.' I sent out a blog and damn if we didn't get flooded. We have a waiting list for November. I guess it's novel: It gives them ownership of bourbon."

Ranger Creek founders Mark McDavid, TJ Miller and Dennis Rylander will have to wait until 2013 at the soonest for their whiskey to start flowing.
Josh Huskin
Ranger Creek founders Mark McDavid, TJ Miller and Dennis Rylander will have to wait until 2013 at the soonest for their whiskey to start flowing.
Barrels at Garrison Brothers are carefully marked to ­allow the whiskey makers to keep track of their spirits.
Photos by Josh Huskin
Barrels at Garrison Brothers are carefully marked to ­allow the whiskey makers to keep track of their spirits.

Details

SLIDESHOW: Texas distilleries

Work duty also gave volunteers the chance to sample bourbon, which was doled out by the shot every few hours. Garrison delivered a different toast each time, praising whiskey, Texas and Willie Nelson.

Garrison Brothers bourbon is startlingly dark and satiny as a Tootsie Roll.

"Isn't that pretty?" said a retiree who stumbled upon the distillery during bottling week and was treated to a drink.

"I could sip that," her husband said. "We drink some mixed drinks, but very seldom do we drink spirits straight."

"We don't drink straight, and we don't have friends that do," the woman confirmed. "Well, maybe Jack."

Garrison, who was across the room checking bottles for stray wax trails, jumped in: "You can mix it with ketchup, but please don't tell me about it."

"Well, it's such a pretty color," the tourist said.

"And I think because it's from Texas, it's going to grow fast," her husband added.

Garrison nodded: "Too fast. Too fast."

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My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
chef504
chef504

Well Well Well Texas, good for you to get a bourbon. I have high hopes for it.

davee44
davee44

Texas has a huge Obesity and type 2 diabetes diet problem. These brewery drinks can really pack on the calories

Calliope
Calliope

I can't see myself givin' up the JD. I just can't.

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

I suggest Texas Bourbon makers with Texas printed on their label sell their Bourbon only to Texans (with a Texas ID) at a premium price.

Others may purchase a bottle of Texas Bourbon if they have a written referral from a Texan.

Have to control the 'Riff-Raff' somehow!

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

This is the epitome of Texas Bad Ass.

Rob
Rob

Ranger Creek bourbon will actually be out in 2011. This fall.

Annie
Annie

The more Bourbon the better, I always say. The proof - no pun intended - will be in the texture and lack of jagged edges found in inferior Bourbon & Tennessee whiskey. I really look forward to tasting it without Coke, though. I never mix Bourbon with anything but ice.

Hanna Raskin
Hanna Raskin

Rob, Ranger Creek hopes to have a limited release of what it's calling "innovative, small barrel bourbon" this fall, but Mark McDavid reports the traditional bourbon the distillery's set out to make won't be ready until 2013 or 2014.

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

I hadn't thought about that and you're right.

We should have asked the State of Texas Legislature to pass a law this session making Bourbon drinking with anything other than ice...illegal.

And mixing Bourbon with Coke gets your deported to Mississippi.

:-)

 
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