Next week, Garrison Brothers in Texas and Koval here in Chicago will make major whiskey debuts.
Garrison is finally ready to release its signature Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which goes on sale Wednesday, November 3, only in Blanco and Gillespie Counties, Texas. The 1,800 750ml bottles, at 47% alcohol (94° proof), are expected to sell out quickly. This is the product—a wheated bourbon—that Dan Garrison set out to make when he started the distillery several years ago and it will set the standard for his future releases. Suggested retail is $69.95.
Koval, which already has a large portfolio of products on the market, will have its Lion’s Pride Organic Whiskey in stores by next weekend. This is Koval’s first aged whiskey. They haven’t announced the size of the release but since the whiskeys are only lightly aged, they probably have enough in the pipeline for the release to be continuous. Initially there will be four products in the Lion’s Pride Organic Whiskey line: rye whiskey, oat whiskey, dark rye whiskey, and dark oat whiskey, all at 40% alcohol (80° proof). Suggested retail is $47.99-$49.99 (750ml).
All four of the Lion's Pride whiskeys are aged less than two years in new, charred oak barrels. They are made from 100% rye grain and 100% oat grain respectively. Barrels for the regular expressions are only lightly charred. The 'dark' expressions are a bit older and the barrels have more of a char.
I’ve tasted the Lion’s Pride and while I haven’t tasted this exact release from Garrison, I’ve had a taste or two along the way. I can recommend both of them enthusiastically. In fact, I hope people who manage to score bottles will drink them and not just keep them on the shelf as collectibles. Both distillers have done a remarkable job with some very young whiskey.