Garrison Brothers has had a exceptional trajectory within the bourbon sphere lately. I used to be first launched to Garrison Brothers at my native go-to bourbon hang-out Post Wine & Spirits, whose proprietor, Jake Lambertson, was an early fan and constant advocate of Garrison Brothers earlier than their repute skyrocketed, drawn in by their daring and complicated profile. As a testomony to his pre-hype acumen and affinity for the distillery, he was apparently one of many only a few in New York that was allotted a uncommon and restricted launch of this Laguna Madre launch (solely 2,000 bottles had been launched in Could 2021). And he generously popped it open to share a glass with me for this evaluate.
First, let’s contact upon the getting older machinations of this launch. They’re detailed at size on their website, however the brief model is that the bourbon is initially aged 4 years in American oak barrels however spends its remaining 4 years in Limousin French oak barrels, that are “prized for its vanillin and tylose lignin content material.” The limitation of when the Limousin oak will be forested contributes to the rising Laguna Madre folklore as no Limousin oak will be felled earlier than the tree hits 120 years of age.
The bottle is packaged in what looks as if a cryogenic time capsule and provides one pause to disturb such a vessel. However it’s time to interrupt the spell and get to the center of whether or not this new unicorn has it the place it counts.
The nostril is slightly creamy and screams blondies (with a beneficiant dose of nuts and burnt caramel bits) and Werther’s onerous candies. Raisins punch threw sometimes. Given the introduction within the nostril, the palate begins out surprisingly dry and chalky; a sawdust observe that makes one suppose you’ve crashed via the door of an previous deserted shed made from sun-dried driftwood left untouched for years on the far finish of an overgrown prairie. Cocoa powder accentuates this woodsy observe as properly. The woodiness and earthiness comes shut, however simply shy, to being smoky or peaty. The acquainted cinnamon and white pepper ultimately come via however are all the time using side-saddle with the woodiness. Ultimately it settles into the extra acquainted vary of leather-based, oak, vanilla, peanuts, and popcorn. On the again finish of the end, a surprisingly delicate prune observe coasts alongside, which is a slightly elegant touchdown for one thing that begins out with weapons a-blazing.
This launch is a captivating nose-palate journey that calls for your dedicated consideration. In any other case, at any flip it dangers presenting itself as unbalanced and abrasive. Some parts will be onerous to put due to the outsized wooden profile that may masks the whiskey’s different traits, however the woodiness all the time appears to tug again simply in time to let the softly creamy and candy nut- and vanilla-forward notes come via.
I hesitate to counsel ingesting this aside from neat given its attention-grabbing character, however for the exact same motive, my hunch is that it will add an edginess to acquainted cocktails resembling Manhattans and previous fashioneds. On the MSRP although (and realistically at a a lot larger worth level if yow will discover it in any respect), I dare not threat sparing a drop to an untested cocktail experiment. You probably have an opportunity to strive it, I encourage it. Whether or not it’s well worth the market worth, not to mention the secondary, to every their very own.
A- / $299 / garrisonbros.com