So far, I’ve been rocking my goal to try something new every single month. I seriously love this goal because it pushes me to actually try new things, instead of putting it on a wish list and saying that I’ll do it at some point.
My new things so far this year include:
- Learned how to curl
- Visited Hamilton Pool in Austin, TX
- Rocked a trail half marathon
- Got my first facial
This time, I did something completely different than something related to health and fitness: I headed to a distillery to learn how to drink whiskey.
I know so many people that love to drink whiskey on the rocks and I never really understood it because to me, straight liquor just makes my face hurt and should only be gulped down as a shot. I’ve learned, though, that there are some really GOOD whiskeys that make you want to sip on them and you can actually enjoy them without a mixer.
So what’s the best way to actually learn how to drink whiskey (and enjoy it)? A whiskey distillery!
When Steph was in town, we ventured out to Hye, TX and went to Garrison Bros. Distillery. It’s a hike from Austin, but it’s definitely worth it — and I’ve heard it’s the best whiskey distillery in Texas. They’ve only been around for a few years, and said they profited $84 last year. Hey, a profit is a profit. 🙂
To start, we checked in at the front and drove up to the distillery area. They walked through the entire process, from talking about the grains that they use in the whiskey and the various stages in actually turning it into alcohol.
I learned that Garrison Bros. make bourbon, which in order to be classified as that, there are some strict rules:
- It must be produced in the U.S. and made up of at least 51% corn
- It must be distilled to a maximum strength of 160 proof, bottled at a strength of at least 80 proof and barreled for aging at no more than 125 proof.
- It must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
- It must be aged for at least two years.
- It must not have any added coloring, flavoring or other spirits.
Who knew? Anyways, it’s very similar to what you would get in a beer tour, which was interesting.
Which was very similar to cream of wheat… super sweet and kinda delicious. Then, we got to try the actual alcohol that they end up with before they put it into the barrels to age it and even though it smelled like it was going to burn, it actually had a bit of a floral, sweet taste to it.
The interesting thing with this distillery is because it’s in Texas and because of how our weather is down here (hot), they can age it much faster than other distilleries… which is good for them because they can turn around product a lot quicker, but I think it has to be challenging because you can’t follow the “rules” of what everyone else does.
From there, we got to try a few of their whiskeys, where they talked to us a little bit about the best way to drink whiskey. Similar to wine, you need to smell it (through your mouth not your nose or it burns so bad) and take small sips… so you actually can enjoy it.
And of course, we got to enjoy the beautiful views:
Ahh, I love Hill Country!
It was a successful adventure and I’m excited to try some more whiskey in the future… now that I have somewhat of an understanding of the aging process and what it actually means for something to be classified as bourbon. If you ever find yourself near Hye, definitely go check it out!
Whiskey: love it or hate it? What’s your favorite?
Have you ever been on a distillery tour? What did you think?
What’s the last new thing you’ve tried?
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