Garrison Brothers Distillery Wins American Micro Whiskey of the Year—Again

Grain-to-Glass, Texas Distillery’s Twice-Barreled Bourbon Takes Coveted Award for the Second Year in a Row

AUSTIN, TEXAS  (November 4, 2019) — Garrison Brothers Distillery is proud to announce that the most comprehensive guide to whiskey ever written, Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, has named Garrison Brothers Balmorhea Bourbon “The American Micro Whiskey of the Year” for 2020. This prestigious distinction is highly coveted among whiskey producers, but this isn’t the first time Garrison Brothers has won the award. It’s not the second, or third, either. This is, in fact, the fourth occasion whiskey guru Jim Murray has given a bourbon in the Garrison Brothers portfolio the accolade of best in America.

Named after the majestic West Texas swimming hole, Balmorhea is the only double-barrelled bourbon in the Garrison Brothers family. That means it is aged four years in new American white oak barrels made from wood grown in the Ozarks, then the liquid is transferred to a second new American white oak barrel from trees grown in Minnesota and aged for another year. Bottled at 57.5% alc/vol or 115 proof, the prized liquid comes from a sweet mash bill, like all of the hill country distillery’s releases. Garrison Brothers Master Distiller, Donnis Todd, describes it as “bourbon candy, frozen fudgesicle bars, amaretto coffee with cream, sticky buns and pecan brittle. Thick white chocolate syrup.”

International whiskey connoisseur Jim Murray’s assessment is even more poetic:

“A Sea of Tranquillity as a small step of crisp grain becomes a giant step for Texas bourbon kind… with raging spices, corn and ultra-toasty tannins delivered at an uncompromising 115 proof, the arrival is an Ocean of Storms. Oaky licorice and thick natural caramel. Soon a Sea of Nectar swells as the astonishing blend of corn oils, heather honey, and Manuka honey converge and intertangle and at last settles into a Sea of Serenity as the tannins calm to the honey’s soothing tune, tasting this just about 50 years ago to the very minute of the first man setting foot on the Moon. He had started his journey in Texas, of course. And the whiskey? Out of this world-class.”

Balmorhea started out as an experimental release in 2017, but became so popular the Garrison Brothers team decided to add it to their core line up in 2018. In 2019, they released Balmorhea in 750 ml bottles for the first time. Because the exquisite nectar takes five years to mature, only 6,000 bottles were released nationwide in May of 2019. Almost all have flown off store shelves in less than six months since its debut. Now, as Jim Murray’s American Micro Whiskey of the year for the second year in a row, the release scheduled for May 2020 is sure to be highly anticipated.

Garrison Brothers Distillery’s Balmorhea Twice-Barrelled Bourbon is available in very limited quantities in select liquor stores, bars, and restaurants across the U.S.

In celebration of the top honor, Garrison Brothers is hosting the first ever American Bourbon Cup, a friendly, blind tasting challenge with Jim Murray himself. On Saturday, November 16th at Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas, Garrison Brothers will host dignitaries and master distillers from across the United States, including makers from Kentucky, Tennessee, New York, Texas, Washington and more to prove once and for all Balmorhea is the best bourbon in the U.S. Select guests will be invited to witness the event and see who is crowned the best. For those that cannot witness the historic event, the American Bourbon Cup will be filmed and broadcast at a later date.


Garrison Brothers Distillery is a small farm and ranch located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country that authentically produces straight bourbon whiskey. Garrison Brothers introduced the first bourbon whiskey legally made in Texas in 2010 and has since developed a rabid fan base. They currently have a waitlist of more than 15,000 just to volunteer on bottling days, and their Cowboy Bourbon™ normally sells out within hours of its release. Garrison Brothers is the first legal bourbon distillery in Texas history and is one of the first distilleries in America outside of Kentucky to produce authentic, handmade bourbon whiskey and only bourbon whiskey. The business was founded in 2006.

Every expression of Garrison Brothers bourbon is made from a sweet mash bill and barrel-aged in the intense Texas climate. The extreme heat creates multiple aging seasons in a year, resulting in a darker, richer, and fuller bourbon; bolder than almost any other bourbon on the market.

At the American Craft Spirit Awards in 2018, the Garrison Brothers team was awarded a gold medal for its Single Barrel Bourbon, a silver medal for its 2016 Small Batch Bourbon, and another silver for its Balmorhea Twice Barreled Bourbon. Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible named Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon™ “American Micro Whiskey of the Year” in 2014 and again in 2017. Whiskey Bible recently awarded the same distinction to Balmorhea Twice Barreled Bourbon for 2019 and 2020. Garrison Brothers was voted Best Craft Whiskey Distillery in America by readers of USA Today in 2017.

Garrison Brothers is a proud and active member of the communities of Blanco, Fredericksburg, Hye, Johnson City, and Stonewall. The distillery and its barrel barns are open to the public for tours in Hye, Texas. Anyone interested in learning more about Garrison Brothers Bourbon or in taking a tour of the distillery should visit or follow @garrisonbros on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Bryan Gonzales