If you enjoy rich, heavy bourbon whiskies that pack a punch, you’ve probably partaken of Balmorhea. If so, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Every time you buy a bottle of Balmorhea, we donate $5 to a 501c3 public charity our family and staff formed called Good Bourbon for a Good Cause. In turn, our charity donates the funds raised to social causes that we value, such as restoration of the pool at Balmorhea State Park.
Together, we raised $30,000 that was donated to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation in February 2019 for the restoration, preservation and a long-term landscaping plan for Balmorhea State Park. That $30,000 became $60,000 when Apache Energy Corporation announced their million-dollar challenge grant for TPF&W. Well done, amigos!
Since then, the pool has reopened and is now ready for the beautiful Texas summer. We’re working closely with the folks at TP&W to preserve its long-term health and beauty to ensure future generations of Texans can cherish those beautiful, healing waters.
Balmorhea was aged in one new white American oak barrel for three years. The liquid was then transferred to a second new white American oak barrel, where it rested for another year. The resulting proof after maturation was 115 or 57.5% ABV. It’s just damned delicious.
Tasting Notes: Bourbon candy: frozen fudgesicle bars, amaretto coffee, sticky buns and pecan brittle. Thick white chocolate syrup. Crimson candy.
The enthusiasm for Balmorhea has been overwhelming. Liquor stores tell us it is flying off the shelf after being named the American Whiskey of the Year by Jim Murray in his 2019 Whisky Bible.
Bartenders serving Balmorhea have requested a bigger bottle, so in May of 2019, we’ll be introducing Balmorhea in a 750mL bottle, and it will officially join the Garrison Brothers brand family. It takes some pretty special and expensive barrels to make Balmorhea, so when we release it, there will only be a few hundred bottles available.
The Texas Bourbon Shootout
Coincidentally, I had the opportunity to meet Jim Murray for the first time this past February in Longview, Texas, where I have a few old friends, at the first annual Texas Bourbon Shootout and Bourbon and Bowties.
Henceforth, Longview shall be known as the bourbon capital of Texas! The east Texas bourbon society has more than 350 members, and they flew Mr. Murray across the pond to judge which Texas whiskey distillery is making the best bourbon. The competition was stiff: Ironroot Republic, Ranger Creek, Firestone & Robertson, Balcones, and Andalucia. All our friends were there.
Garrison Brothers’ Balmorhea was not only the crowd’s favorite but also Murray’s. Jim awarded Balmorhea the Double Gold Grand Champion award and the title of The Best Grain to Glass Texas Bourbon! It was a proud moment. Too damn cool.
Wanna Be a Balmorhea Bourbon Barrel Blender?
We are going to release Balmorhea across the country in May. But it all starts at the distillery in Hye on May 4th at 10 am. We will be releasing just 504 bottles of Balmorhea that day at an introductory, one-day-only price of $139.99 a bottle. When they’re gone, they’re gone, but we’re going to make the introduction kind of fun too.
All-in-all, it took a total of 55 barrels from Kelvin Cooperage to create our 2019 Balmorhea release. So we’re rewarding one member of The Bourbon Brotherhood with the highest honor. Whoever purchases Bottle #55 will have the opportunity to help our master distiller Donnis Todd hand-select the barrels that will become the 2020 Vintage of Balmorhea. This fortunate individual can bring two friends out to the distillery and join Donnis as he tastes his way through our rickhouse tasting and searching for the perfect barrels.
If you like Balmorhea and want your own bottle, please come visit us in Hye on May 4th. We’ll open the gates at 10 a.m. If you can’t make it to Hye, visit our website at https://www.garrisonbros.com/find-it to locate your own bottle. We would appreciate it and so will Texas Parks & Wildlife.