As a subscriber to The Whiskey Advocate, I always check the reviews but maintain a grain of salt with their rating. I also do the same with Jim Murray and other writers, bloggers and reviewers out there. What you think is a 90 I may think is a 96 or a 76; ratings are very subjective to one’s personal palate. However, there seems to be strong agreement among most palates, the barrel proof BTAC, for example, always scores well. Craft reviews are very interesting as they tend to have a much less consistent rating across different publications.
Despite all of this, I was extremely surprised by the grade Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon received: 79.
I agreed with a lot of their descriptors, they had caramel and baking spices and dusty corn. Here is my review (https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/garrison-brothers-cowboy-best-4-year-whiskey-ever/) I had envisioned caramelized popcorn, basically those three descriptors in a single item… so it’s not like either one of us is getting different aromas on the nose, or that my bottle was remarkably different than the testers.
One major issue with Texas Bourbon is that the evaporation is intense… you start with a full barrel and end up with not much left due to the heat. So, it’s going to cost more. Even in my original review I mentioned that I thought it was expensive, but, as you can tell from my photo, that fact that I’ve bought several and already gone through two bottles and am on my third, tells you more than anything I can write. Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it should get a bad review–although if it’s expensive and mediocre, then, by all means, lambaste away (see my reviews on the Orphan Barrel series…).
I’m trying this new bottle, which is #3516, and I can confirm my original conclusion which I will just copy and paste because it was correct all along: “This truly is one of the greats out there and easily the best four year whiskey I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. I still can’t believe that it is this smooth at 135 proof and this young. If this were $50, it would get a perfect score–it’s not though… 96/100”
The 2yr is less than half the price, and it also very good, here is that review: