Garrison Brothers Estacado (bourbon finished in port casks)
In 2015, the Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock, Texas and the Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye did a barrel swap. GB's master distiller Donnis Todd dumped ten 15-gallon barrels that held Texas straight bourbon whiskey and sent them up to the High Plains winery on a trailer. In return, Llano Estacado wine makers Jason Centanni and James Floyd sent eight of their port casks back down to Hye. Todd and team filled those port casks with Texas straight bourbon whiskey and let them rest for about six months. The result? Unbelievable.
Garrison Brothers "Estacado" Experimental
Garrison Brothers Distillery, Hye, TX
Autumn in a glass; it's a deep dark amber, like the reds and browns barely hanging on in November.
Smoky and sweet. Exactly what I hoped it would smell like. The caramel and char from the bourbon tickle the nose, while the sugary grape notes make your mouth water.
One the sweet side of the spectrum. Maple, marmalade, and vanilla flash up front, but sweetness subsides as oak and spice show up mid-palate. The finish is fast, as a grainy bite reveals the bourbon's relative youth.
A. Perfectly balanced, and at 107 proof, it packs a punch. Frankly, this is one of the best (and most interesting) whiskeys I've tasted in years. I put it on par with Michter's Barrel Proof Toasted Barrel Rye as a 2017 masterpiece.
* This was an out of the blue sample bottle from GB; unfortunately, the "Estacado" will only be available in 350 mL bottles at their gift shop in Hye.