Welcome to our newest blog! Each week our goal is going to be to highlight and talk a little in depth about some of our favorite distilleries. From some history to whats happening at the distillery we hope you enjoy learning some more about the places that are making your favorite spirits. Let us know what distilleries you would like see get put in our blog, email us at marketing@deepsouthbarrels.com or write us on Facebook!


Distillery of the Week




Dripping Springs (San Luis Spirits)-

            Apologies for the break between our previous blog post. For this next blog we’re staying in Texas, we’re going out to Dripping Springs, just outside of Austin. This small town is home to San Luis Spirits, who makes and distributes Dripping Springs Vodka and Gin.


            Started in 2005, San Luis Spirits was the second distiller and third licensed distilled spirits permit in Texas. Founded by brothers Gary and Kevin Kelleher, the company is dedicated to the art of distilling world class spirits in small, 50 gallon batches. Even though the company was founded in 2005 the first batch of vodka wasn't shipped out until 2007. The first product was Dripping Springs Vodka, which made an impact instantly in the spirit industry, winning the prestigious Vodka Purity Trophy and the Gold, Best in Class at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2008. Dripping Springs Vodka is micro-distilled the equivalent of 20 times in 50 gallon batches. It is then mixed with pure, mineral rich artesian spring water from the Texas hill country, finally it is filtered through Swedish activated charcoal giving it a balanced and smooth finish. In 2011, the distillery released Dripping Springs Texas Orange Vodka, the vodka is steeped with Texas oranges and then re-distilled to capture all of the flavor. The distillery only uses the zest of the oranges and they donate the rest of the orange to the Austin Zoo.


            In 2014 the distillery released its first gin, Dripping Springs Artisan Gin, bottled at 85 proof it is a more tolerable gin compared to some others on the market. Made with a combination of floral notes and a hint of spice and fresh citrus from the Texas Rio Grande Valley. It is a great beginners gin for people looking to try something other than vodka, this flavorful spirit is best enjoyed over ice or in a classic dry martini. Then in 2016 they released Dripping Springs Traditional Gin, which is bottled at 95 proof. A juniper forward, London dry gin, reinvented with southwestern flavors. This gin is designed for the traditional gin drinkers as well as mixologists looking for a rich, flavorful gin that holds up in any cocktail. The traditional gin won both a Silver Outstanding award and a Silver Outstanding Gin & Tonic award at the 2016 International Wine and Spirit Competition.


            They also distill another vodka, but not with the Dripping Springs name. This vodka is 1876, named for the American Centennial, the first National League Baseball game and the adoption of the Texas Constitution. It is San Luis Spirits’ take on a premium vodka, handmade in small 50 gallon batches then mixed with purified water. 1876 has attained rave reviews as well as double gold winner at the 2014 San Fransisco World Spirits Competition.


            If you're making a trip to Austin make sure you visit the distillery, they have tours Thursday and Friday at 3:00 pm, Saturdays at 12:00, 1:30 and 3:00 pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance, which you can do on their website. The tours last about 30 minutes and cost $15, included in the tour is the tour of the distillery, tasting and a souvenir shot glass. Their tasting room is also open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 11am-5pm, tastings are $7.00 and you get to sample the 3 vodkas, 2 gins and 1876 Straight Texas Bourbon Whiskey as well as 1876 Port Barrel Finished Bourbon. They are always hosting and throwing different events at the distillery, be sure to follow their Facebook page and events page to see what is upcoming.






Garrison Brothers-


We’re going to keep it in Texas this week, moving over to Hye, Texas, just north of San Antonio. The first and oldest distillery in Texas, started in 2005 by Dan Garrison, his goal was to produce the best bourbon, not just in Texas but in the country. Starting from scratch he got his first cooker from a chocolate factory and his first tank from a dairy. It took him multiple trip back and forth to Kentucky to learn how they had their distilleries set up, drawing sketches and making it so “a couple of rednecks from Texas” could operate it. 


Let’s move on to the bourbon, everything  Garrison does is unique and is what really sets them apart. First the wood, they use American white oak, but instead of using whiskey wood they use wine wood because it imparts more flavor. Each year they change up the production methods, the mash bill and even the barreling strategy, which makes for a truly “vintage” bourbon each year. Their goal is to produce a better bourbon each year, so that the 2015 bourbon is better than the 2011. 


Garrison Brothers has come out with a couple different bourbons since opening the doors in 2005, the first is their flagship bourbon, this gets released usually twice a year, one batch in the spring and one batch in the fall. If you're looking to buy a bottle you better get to the store in a reasonable time after the release since the bottles usually only last a few months on the shelf. They also have a single barrel bourbon, that of course is bottled from one barrel, the price per bottle is a little bit higher because there is less alcohol to sell. Since it is coming from one barrel the “angel’s share” takes a percentage of the bourbon and they can only bottle what remains in the barrel after aging. In 2010 they released “The Young Gun”, bottled unfiltered and at 100 proof this bourbon was aged for one year. Just 2,000 bottles were available to purchase, 1,000 were kept in Texas Hill Country as a thank you to the local community who helped get the distillery started. The other 1,000 bottles were distributed throughout Texas. The latest bourbon that Garrison has released is the Cowboy Bourbon, bottled in a 375 ml bottle. This bourbon is also unfiltered but is bottled at a crazy 136 proof not for the faint of heart but one of the finest bourbons Garrison has made. First released in 2013 the Cowboy didn't stay around too long, but they will be releasing this bourbon again. 


If you're ever out in Hill Country and a fan of bourbon make sure you make a stop by Garrison Brothers, they have tours Wednesday-Saturday and cost just $10 or $20 on Saturdays. The tours last about an hour and you get to learn about how the bourbon is make, taste the mash and the white dog straight from the still and a walk through the barrel barn to taste a vintage bourbon. Hopefully you've learned a little about the oldest distillery in Texas and take a trip out to see them and give their bourbon a try!






Rebecca Creek-


This week we’re going to look at one of our favorite Texas distilleries, Rebecca Creek.


            Located in San Antonio, Rebecca Creek was founded in 2009 by Steve Ison, with the opening of Rebecca Creek it marked one of the first legal distilleries in south Texas since prohibition.

            The first product from the distillery was Rebecca Creek whiskey, bottled at 80 proof with a blend of premium bourbons, the oldest being aged for 8 years. The mash build consists of 67% corn and 21% rye with malted barley and wheat filling the rest. Rebecca Creek Whiskey has won multiple awards, they have received: 93 points in 2015 at The Ultimate Spirits Competition, 4.5 stars for the Manhattan Cocktail in 2015 at The Ultimate Cocktail Awards, Best Value Award in 2015 at The Ultimate Spirits Competition, the Gold Medal at the 2012 SIP International Spirits Competition and the Silver Medal at the 2012 Los Angeles International Spirits Awards.


            Next on the product line we have Texas Ranger 1823 whiskey, also bottled at 80 proof this one of my personal favorites, it has a light and smooth finish with hints of vanilla and caramel. It is a blended whiskey with premium limestone-filtered Edwards aquifer water.


            With all the success of their whiskey they decided to give distilling vodka a try. They introduced Enchanted Rock Vodka, instead of distilling the vodka multiple times, they use a German copper distillation system, which reduces the sulfuric flavors all while keeping the sweetness that comes from the mid-western corn. The next step that they do is a chilled filtration, the spirit is chilled below freezing to force undesirable congeners out of solution so that they can be filtered out, which results in a very clean and distinct flavor. Enchanted Rock Vodka has won a few awards as well, it has received: The Platinum Medal in 2011 SIP Award International Spirits Competition, the Silver Medal and the Bronze Medal at the 2011 Los Angeles International Spirits Awards.


            Rebecca Creek has made a huge impact in the whiskey world not only in Texas but expanding their sales region to currently seven states with more on the way. If you are ever in the San Antonio area and want to try a true Texas whiskey stop by the distillery for a tour, they offer free tours Thursday-Sunday, tours usually last about an hour with a stop in the tasting room as well.