Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon vs. 1792 Full Proof Whiskey: A Tale of Two Spirited Titans

Dive into the spirited world of bourbon as we juxtapose Garrison Brothers' Cowboy Bourbon from the heart of Texas with the traditional 1792 Full Proof Whiskey from bourbon's homeland, Kentucky. Journey through their tales of origin, unique tasting notes, and heritage, discovering the bold Texan flair versus the symphony of Kentucky tradition. Whether you're a bourbon novice or a seasoned connoisseur, this exploration will leave you yearning for a sip of these titanic brews. Cheers to the clash of titans in the world of whiskey!

Bourbons have long been synonymous with America’s spirit, a narrative brimming with history, passion, and individuality. Like two protagonists in an age-old saga, today, I find myself immersed in the tales of Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon and 1792 Full Proof Whiskey. These two whiskies, each with its story, are emblematic of their origins and craftsmanship. Therefore, they will make a great pair to participate in the Texas versus Everyone Else showdown of high proof bourbon. So, let’s walk out into the dusty street while they face each other off in a showdown.

A Brief on the Distilleries:

Garrison Brothers Distillery:

Established in 2005, Garrison Brothers proudly hail from Hye, Texas. The distillery is renowned for its commitment to producing authentic, handcrafted bourbon. Their focus on utilizing local produce, coupled with the distinctive Texan climate, adds an unparalleled depth to their spirits.

1792 Distillery (Barton 1792 Distillery):

Located in Bardstown, Kentucky, the heart of Bourbon country, the Barton 1792 Distillery has been crafting spirits since the late 18th century. Their dedication to tradition, combined with an innovative approach, has rendered them a notable name in the bourbon sphere.

Specifications Unveiled:

Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon:

Origin: Hye, Texas

ABV (Alcohol By Volume): Approximately 66.95% (133.9 proof), though it can vary.

Age: Roughly 5 years

Mash Bill: Corn, wheat, malted barley

Tasting Notes: Bold notes of caramel, toasted nuts, dark chocolate with a hint of butterscotch.

1792 Full Proof Barrel Select Whiskey:

Origin: Bardstown, Kentucky

ABV: 62.5% (125 proof)

Age: Not officially age-stated, but whispers suggest around 8 years

Mash Bill: High rye content, specific percentages undisclosed

Tasting Notes: Pronounced dark caramel, toasted oak, coupled with cinnamon and peppery nuances and an undertone of dark fruits.

Deep Dive into these Bourbons:

Proof, in the context of alcoholic beverages, refers to the measure of the spirit’s strength or alcoholic content. In the U.S., the proof number is double the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). Hence, a 140-proof bourbon contains 70% alcohol by volume, while an 80-proof bourbon contains 40% alcohol by volume. Let’s dive into the general distinctions between these two:

Alcohol Content: The most evident difference is the alcohol content. The 140-proof bourbon is almost double the strength of its 80-proof counterpart.

Flavor Profile: Higher proof bourbons like the 140 proofs tend to have a much bolder, intense flavor. They often carry robust and dense tasting notes, and the alcohol can deliver these flavors in a pronounced manner. On the other hand, 80 proof bourbons are milder and often smoother, making them more approachable for casual sipping.

Burn and Finish: With a higher alcohol content, 140 proof bourbons often give a stronger “burn” or “bite” as it goes down, especially if you’re not accustomed to high-proof spirits. This sensation can either be seen as a thrilling kick by enthusiasts or overwhelming by others. An 80-proof bourbon provides a gentler experience, with a softer finish that lingers less aggressively.

Complexity: Though not a hard and fast rule, higher proof bourbons often present a complex array of flavors. The intensity of alcohol can bring out deeper notes and nuances from the spirit. However, the distinction in complexity also heavily depends on the distillation process, aging, and other factors.

Dilution and Cocktails: 140 proof bourbons are more versatile in cocktail preparation because they can be diluted more without losing their character. They stand up robustly in mixed drinks. In contrast, 80 proof bourbons might get overshadowed when mixed with stronger ingredients.

Audience: High proof bourbons, like the 140 proofs, are generally for seasoned whiskey enthusiasts who appreciate and can handle the intense flavors and sensations. 80 proof bourbons are excellent entry points for those new to the whiskey world or those who prefer a milder drinking experience.

In summary, the choice between a 140-proof bourbon and an 80-proof bourbon comes down to personal preference. The former offers a more intense and bold experience, suited for the adventurous palate, while the latter provides a more relaxed and smoother sipping experience. Both have their unique place in the vast world of bourbons.

In this head-to-head comparison, we are going to uncover the differences between these two full proof bourbons and share our findings and recommendations after some thorough testing. Of course, we might have to wait until the day after testing to write the article as these bourbons will pack a punch!

Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon: The Taste Test

As you uncork this Texan legend, you’re immediately greeted with an intoxicating aroma. The high proof isn’t just a number but translates into an intense, bold flavor profile. The dark chocolate notes are what I found the most enchanting, blending seamlessly with the hints of caramel and toasted nuts. Every sip feels like you’re savoring a piece of Texas – raw, unbridled, and yet sophisticated. While it does show off its high proof in the flavor, it is very smooth which is a surprise for me. I had expected a much harsher taste and finish but was pleasantly surprised.

1792 Full Proof Barrel Select Whiskey: The Taste Test

In stark contrast, the 1792 Full Proof speaks the language of tradition. The very first aroma that hits you is the dark caramel, almost as if you’ve just walked into a candy store. But don’t be mistaken, this isn’t a sweet, mellow drink. The high rye content packs a punch, offering a spicy edge to the otherwise sweet profile. The finish is enduring, reminiscent of a Kentucky evening – warm, inviting, and memorable. You should pick up the blatant maple, brown sugar, and cinnamon tones, with the associated burn if you hold your whisky in your mouth for 7 seconds like I do. At the end you pick up on the spicy finish that brings out even more of these flavors.


Choosing between Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon and 1792 Full Proof Whiskey is akin to picking between two best-selling novels – both are masterpieces in their right. While Cowboy Bourbon is brash, intense, and utterly Texan, the 1792 Full Proof is a symphony of tradition, balance, and spice. Depending on your mood, you might reach for the unbridled intensity of the Cowboy or the comforting embrace of the 1792. Pricewise, the Garrison Brothers’ offering comes in at around $250 – not an inexpensive acquisition. On the other hand, the 1792 Full Proof bottle sells for around $50 making it a very good price point for a whiskey of this caliber.


Which bourbon is stronger in terms of ABV?

Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon has a higher ABV, clocking in at around 67.5% compared to 1792’s 62.5%.

How does the aging process differ between the two?

While Cowboy Bourbon has an age of around 5 years, 1792 Full Proof is believed to be aged for approximately 8 years. However, the Texan climate can impart more intense maturation effects in a shorter time due to its extreme temperature variations.

Is the price point similar for both?

Prices can vary based on location and availability. Typically, Cowboy Bourbon is more of a premium offering, while 1792 Full Proof might be more approachable in price. It’s best to check local retailers for current prices.

For someone new to bourbons, which one is recommended?

It depends on the preference. If one is looking for something intense and bold, the Cowboy Bourbon is a unique experience. For those who appreciate a more balanced profile with a touch of spice, the 1792 Full Proof is an excellent introduction.


At the end of this exploration, I find myself in awe of both Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon and 1792 Full Proof Whiskey. Each tells a story, each has its charisma, and both deserve a place in the annals of bourbon history. Here’s to many more spirited tales and flavorful journeys ahead. Cheers!

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