Dallas Bar Breaks Out the Rare Bourbon

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJanuary 26, 2017 11:51 am

If you’re in the market for a stiff drink – look no further than this Dallas Tavern. Tonight Henry’s Majestic is breaking out the rare, and therefore expensive, bourbon known as Pappy Van Winkle.

Michael Hoinski, a contributor to Texas Monthly describes the Kentucky origins of the storied spirit.

“It’s got a pretty long history dating back to the 1890s,” he says. “A gentleman named Pappy Van Winkle was a traveling liquor salesman and bought a distillery there. And started making the whiskey at the distillery for the company he sold booze for, so they went into business together, partnered on the distillery, starting making Pappy Van Winkle and the legend was born.”

These days the whiskey is produced via a partnership between Buffalo Trace and the descendants of Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle.

Only about 7,000 cases – or 84,000 bottles – are made per year, so Henry’s Majestic was pretty excited to get their hands on it.

“As the beverage director there Alex Fletcher told me, he sells a lot of whiskey, and so he has a good relationship with Buffalo Trace and they basically said, ‘Hey, you can have these four bottles, do you want them,’” Hoinski says. “Proprietors of these restaurants and bars don’t ever really know what of the different marks or ages of the whiskey they’ll get, they just get offered it and take it or leave it.”

A seat at the restaurant’s Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey Dinner will run you $385. You’ll sip on spirits that have been aged for 10, 12, 15, and 20 years.

Whether you’re in Dallas tonight or luck into this bourbon another time – Hoinski has advice on how to drink it. He says you definitely want to order it neat.

“But a suggestion that Alex Fletcher at Henry’s Majestic gave me was you flick just a little bit of water in there because the water helps to open up a lot of the tightly condensed flavors and what not,” Hoinski says.

This month, an award-winning Texas distiller won a trademark lawsuit against California-based Allied Lomar, an international liquor distributor.

Allied Lomar charged that Texas’ Garrison Brothers Distillery couldn’t call their liquor “Cowboy Bourbon” because they had a similar registered trademark for “Cowboy Little Barrel.”

John Council, a reporter for Texas Lawyer, says the trademark battle boiled down to the authenticity of distiller Dan Garrison.

“He produces his whiskey by hand in a functioning Central Texas ranch, it’s produced in the way that an 1880s cowboy would drink bourbon,” he says. “It’s casket strength – it comes right out the battle to thin it down and the theme goes that you’ve got to be a tough guy or a cowboy to drink this type of booze.”

The jury bought that argument and as soon as the judge inks the final ruling, Garrison plans to register for the trademark to Cowboy Bourbon himself.

If you caught the viral video of Kris Jones singing “Tennessee Whiskey” a couple weeks ago, get ready for another shot. The Texas contractor will appear on NBC’s “The Voice” on Feb. 27.