Bourbon By Nino Marchetti / April 3, 2020 The Garrison Brothers distillery in Texas has long been one of the front runners when it comes to this American region of whiskey making. They produce some rather well received bourbons, including the very high proof Cowboy Bourbon expression we recently reviewed. Now, in a bid to support those combatting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, they are conducting an online fundraiser that includes a rare bourbon in support of a veteran-led disaster response organization.Operation Crush COVID-19, according to those behind it, aims to raise more than $2 million through the distillery’s Good Bourbon for a Good Cause non-profit arm to help Team Rubicon, an organization that leverages the skills of veterans to “help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises.” Specifically in regards to dealing with the ongoing pandemic, Rubicon is providing assistance such as “delivery service for food-insecure populations, coordination and logistics support for those in temporary quarantine, as well as individual volunteers inspired by action to help their neighbors leveraging the safety guidance.”In the fundraising plans as well for Garrison’s event will be the naming of a secondary beneficiary that is helping with the immediate needs of hospitality industry professionals and their families.“Good bourbon can change the world,” said Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery, in a prepared statement. “We hope to inspire those who can to join us in our fundraising efforts to help communities and families rebuild and cope during this devastating pandemic. Our team is proud to be partnering again with Team Rubicon to help with relief efforts in all 50 states as well as fundraise to immediately help the hospitality industry.”“At Team Rubicon, we know we’re only as strong as our volunteers, partners and donors, as we fight this invisible war on COVID-19, we must all work together,” added Jake Wood, co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon. “During this unprecedented time, we are entirely grateful to have Garrison Brothers Distillery and its customers by our side, supporting our efforts in response to this deadly virus. This generous donation will help us continue to prepare, respond and aid community recovery efforts across the country.”Operation Crush COVID-19 bourbons, including Laguna Madre (pictured center) (image via Garrison Brothers)The major offering for the fundraiser will be the new, limited edition Garrison Brothers Laguna Madre bourbon. Until recently, according to the distillery, they had planned to release this “special project over 10 years in the making later this summer through traditional liquor retail channels. But the retailers Garrison interviewed liked this idea better. Laguna Madre is the oldest bourbon Garrison Brothers has made to date — an eight-year-old, top-shelf release named after the beautiful blue waters along Texas’ Gulf Coast.“The ultra-premium bourbon was aged in new white American oak barrels for four years and aged secondarily for four more years in Limousin oak from France, which is prized for its vanilla content. Limousin oak wood imparts spirits with distinct flavors of vanilla, sweet candy, cacao, and thick, white chocolate that an experienced bourbon drinker won’t ever forget.“The original plan was to release just over 2,000 bottles to the distillery’s original supporters, then to close friends, then to bars and restaurants who have always championed the brand. But in light of COVID-19, Garrison and his team have pivoted. Laguna Madre will now be available only to donors who contribute $1,000 or more.”The first 2,004 people to contribute $1,000 or more will receive a bottle of Laguna Madre. For those that can’t, “if you donate $100, you…can choose to take home any clothing item from [the] gift shop for free. If you donate $500, [they will] reserve one bottle of Boot Flask (375ml) and one bottle of Honey Dew (750ml) for you.”All total, there will be 4,008 bottles of Boot Flask, 4,008 bottles of Honey Dew, and 2,004 bottles of Laguna Madre available.