The bourbon sample used for this review was provided at no cost, courtesy of the respective company. Typically, people stay away from items marked ‘HAZMAT.’ Things such as bleach, paint thinner, or gunpowder. When seeing the label on a bourbon, it can mean pure enjoyment or misery. With all that said, Garrison Brother’s Distiller out of Texas threw its ‘cowboy’ hat in the ring and created a 140.9-proof bourbon aptly named ‘HAZMAT.’ The distillery’s 2023 edition of the popular Cowboy Bourbon series. ‘HAZMAT’ bourbons are 140 proof or over and pack on a hell of a punch. The trend is not for everyone, especially the faint of heart. But for the brave, experiencing the liquid can open your eyes to a whole new section of the industry.
Okay, I am not going to lie. I was a little scared. Back in college, I took a shot of Kentucky Moonshine that about sent me to the moon, but that was long ago. After opening the bottle and letting it set for a while, I jumped right in with my first pour. The aroma, surprisingly, was not what I expected as soft vanilla and pecan notes wafted in the air. I even detected a little bit of charred oak. As predicted, the first sip lit my mouth a blaze, but after the initial burn subsided, an explosion of brown sugar, marzipan, dark cherry, and cinnamon cascaded over the palate. Pro Tip: Take a small sip and swish it around your mouth. That way, anything that was impeding the authentic flavor is gone. Once you swallow, you will feel it down to your toes, but not in a way that makes you run for water. It is like lowering yourself in a hot jacuzzi up to your neck. You want to get out for a split second, but it is relaxing after a pause or two. Pecan and cherry are the dominant flavors on the backend that are long and hot. As scared as I was, I enjoyed the pour. No way is it an everyday sipper, but when the temperature drops below freezing, I recommend taking a pull on those special occasions. This whiskey receives 4/5 Barrels.