Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon Review

Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon Review

Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon is the uncut, longer aged, limited edition version of the Garrison Bros. Bourbon. If you’re not familiar with Garrison you definitely should get to know them as they’re currently one of the hottest / major craft bourbon makers on the market today and their single barrel bottles often retail in the $100 range.

In Garrison’s Words: Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon

“Little” may apply to the 375-ml size of the bottle, but nothing else was little about Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon™. This was the first new bourbon we had introduced since we released Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey on Texas Independence Day in 2010. This bourbon was uncut and unfiltered, straight from the barrel, weighing in at 136 proof. It was not for the faint of heart and certainly not for casual drinking. It was a limited release – just 600 bottles – of the finest bourbon we’d ever made.”

This whiskey is vastly interesting to me because of what it is and what it represents in the world of craft whiskey. It’s part of the turning point of craft from being “meh” into a force to be considered and investigated more and more. Which is exactly what we’ll be doing in the Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon review below.

Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon Info

Region: Texas, USA

Distiller: Garrison Brothers Distillery
Mashbill: Not Disclosed
Cask: New charred oak
Age: 4 Years
ABV: 67%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Batch: 2015

Price: $160

Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon Review

EYE
Dark caramel

NOSE
Chocolate, caramel, Ovaltine, toasted grain and a touch of dark sweets and astringent oak. Water brings out corn, spice and a bit of nuts.

PALATE
Young saw-dust like oak, corn, toasted grain, caramel syrup and a touch herbal. Water shifts it to a brown sugar and dark fruit character that’s a bit acidic.

FINISH
Long caramel, saw dust, oak, dark fruit and mint

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent balance, medium body and a hot heavy feel.

OVERALL
The Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon has a slight case of young-old going on but is hands down one of the better craft bourbons I’ve had. That young-old character going on isn’t enough to be distracting and in a way it works quite well with the other cavalcade of notes that meet up with it.

I’d need more than a sample to test it out, but it seems like the Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon would work really well in cocktails and with its intense 134 proof delivery it would be perfect over ice in the summer. It comes across as a versatile whiskey, though at its asking price it might be something that you’d only ever want to drink neat.

SCORE: 87/100 (B)

Thanks to Linda for the sample!

Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 87
  • Palate - 87
  • Finish - 87
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 87

Summary

Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon is good. Expensive, but good.

Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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6 Responses to Garrison Bros Cowboy Bourbon Review

  1. Highly recommend Rock Towns Single Barrel Reserve offerings. Best Bourbon I have ever had. Their rye whiskey is superb too. Prices don’t break the bank either even though they could get away charging a whole lot more.

  2. Been out to Garrison Brothers a couple times and it’s a place I really want to love, but can’t justify buying their bottles. The distillery is really cool, almost more like a Texas winery than anything and a great place to spend a few hours. The people seem nice. My allergies sucked, but I’d spend all day out there on a Saturday in the spring or fall before it was 100 degrees.

    But the bourbon, man. It just isn’t worth the price. It’s smooth, but that’s because nothing stands out. It’s $70+ in stores and there are countless better values. The single barrel pours are pretty good, but if I’m going to be paying $100/bottle, give me a bottle and a half of Booker’s or something. I hope that they are making enough to pay the bills, and as they carry on, they’ll figure out to bottle something decent in the $35 range and age their flagship another couple years to justify its current price.

    • Granted none of that was directed toward the Cowboy Bourbon, but nothing I’ve tasted there has led me to believe it would be worth that price. My rule of thumb is if their stuff was priced at 50% of current, I’d buy it all the time to support a semi-local place doing good things. I guess I try to seek out value in the bourbon world, and right now it seems like buying Garrison Brothers is more to be seen as hip or buying local rather than buying appropriately-priced quality. They have a solid foundation to build on, though, and I hope they eventually come out with a few lines that are priced more accurately.

      I’ll still go out there occasionally and fondly remember the afternoon either way, though.

  3. By some sheer act of luck, I’ve managed to procure a bottle of the Garrison Brothers Single Barrel for $69.99 at Hy-Vee’s in Missouri. By the way, this is a tremendous discount, since GBSB easily retails for about $110 in Texas. While my initial sampling of GBSB has been fairly satisfactory, I still think that $69.99 was a bit steep (or maybe I’m just cheap altogether). Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Single Barrel, whenever you have the opportunity to try it out.

    • Hey Chris,

      If I ever get the chance I definitely will, but I’m right there with you. $70 is really steep so I’ll just be watching for a taste at the bar or a sample for a friend. Cheers!

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