Work with people long enough and they might start to feel like family, but four of the founders of Union Horse Distillery actually are family – siblings, to be exact. Mary, Damian, Patrick and Eric Garcia dreamed of starting a family business, and all it took to make that dream a reality was the right project (we'll start a distillery!).
They founded the distillery in 2010 with Patrick as Head Distiller, and they convinced David Pickerell (former Master Distiller at Maker's Mark and one of the partners behind WhistlePig) to come on as a consultant. They were formerly known as Dark Horse Distillery until 2016, invoking the long-shot odds of running a successful distilling business with the big brands dominating the market.
Patrick and David tried dozens of different formulations before they settled on their style of bourbon. It's made with a sour mash, so part of each batch is used to start the next, ensuring that each run is consistent. Union Horse uses 80% corn and 20% rye to add some spice and complexity. And while at first some of their bourbon was aged in smaller barrels so they could get to market faster, everything available today has been aged in full-size barrels, an impressive feat for such a small and youthful distillery. Every bottle features real family horses (Chrome and Steel) is numbered and signed by Patrick.
Union Horse buys its grain from regional farmers and mills it in-house. Spent mash is transported to a local dairy farmer, who uses it as feed for cattle.