Craft Distilleries | Review

Still Austin Whiskey Co. Straight Bourbon: “The Musician” Review

Dec 19, 2020


by Matty Sims

Disclaimer: The whiskey reviewed was furnished for free courtesy of the spirit distiller. The distillery did not pay us for this review. This review is our honest and unbiased opinion based soley on how the spirit tasted.

87 / 100 Reviewer
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Three Austin families — the Bohms, Seals, and Braunbergs — opened the Still Austin Whiskey Co. in 2015. And its opening was no small feat. Still Austin was the first urban whiskey distillery in Austin since Prohibition. They also took the road less traveled by distilling their own whiskey with a grass-to-grain philosophy. All the grains are grown by Texas farmers (Tex Malt, Texas grain producers, and Lone Star Farms, non-GMO grain producers), and they pride themselves on hand-making everything from scratch, and managing everything in-house — milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling, barreling, and bottling. This commitment to excellence in craftsmanship can be tasted in the whiskey.

Their partnership with Forthsyth’s should excite any whiskey geek. According to Still Austin,

Our still was a joint design venture between master distiller Mike Delevante and the engineers at Forsyths in Rothes, Scotland. At 42 feet in height, our beloved Nancy—the “Still” in Still Austin—was the first column still of her kind in Texas. In fact, she remains the only column still in the United States to have been built by the legendary Scottish master stillmakers.

They’ve also crafted a copper pot still that’s named “The Queen.”

They’ve been working hard since 2015 to get the whiskey right. “After six years of hard work and perfecting our technique, we’re ready to launch our new flagship straight bourbon whiskey,” said Chris Seals, CEO. “We started Still Austin Whiskey Co. because we saw an opportunity to create our own kind of distillery where we do everything intentionally. This bourbon is an expression of true Texas terroir, but also the distillation of all we are, and of all that has created us. We’ve managed to bottle the inclusive spirit of our home city; a complex bourbon with substance, flair, and finesse.”

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Straight Bourbon: “The Musician” Review

Still Austin Bourbon Whiskey

Still Austin Whiskey Co. Straight Bourbon: “The Musician”
The MusicianDetails
In the Bottle98.4 Proof
Mashbill70% non-GMO white corn, 25% Elbon rye, and 5% Wildfire malted barley
Distilled and AgedAustin, TX in their Hill Country rickhouse
Stylehigh-rye straight bourbon whiskey featuring grains that are 100% grown by Texas farmers
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$45
DistilleryStill Austin Whiskey Co.
440 E St Elmo Rd Unit F
Austin, TX 78745
ProsBright Fruit Flavors
ConsNeeds More Complexity and Age
AvailabilityLimited Distribution
RatingSilver 87 out of 100 Points
InventoryGreat Daily Drinker and Mixer

The craftsmanship didn’t stop with the whiskey or their giant still. The label is uniquely Austin. They commissioned artist and Texas native Marc Burckhardt to paint a series of portraits of “archetypical” Austinites for the labels. The first is called The Musician (see above). Future Austin Archetypes will include the Naturalist, the Writer, the Visionary, and the Artist.

Still Austin Whiskey in the Glass

It’s got a great color for a two-year whiskey. More orange than I’ve seen in other whiskeys. It’s also has good glass coverage.

Nose – 89 out of 100 Points

The nose is all fresh summer berries and tart cherries with pleasant toasted whole grain bread and vanilla cream cheese. This nose is my jam. I love bright fruit in my whiskies.

Taste – 86 out of 100 Points

The sweet fruit carries through the whole palate even with a balanced Szechuan peppercorn note. I also get a buttered toast with cream cheese and jam. It’s got a creamy mouthfeel. The flavors overall are delicate. I do get just a hint of youth on the back of the palate. But there’s nothing unpleasant on the palate. The flavors are developed and delightful.

Finish – 86 out of 100 Points

The finish is short to medium but the flavors are solid. The creaminess with subtle sweetness comes through. I also get nice oak and toasted baking spice.

Verdict – Silver 87 out of 100 Points

The Bard Silver 300px

I’m amazed at the flavors developed by this two-year bourbon. It’s a testament to the care taken selecting the rights grains and the craftsmanship distilling this whiskey. They did it right. I’d happily drink this neat or on the rocks. It’s also undeniably a Texas Whiskey. They aren’t shying away from where this whiskey is coming from.  Some craft whiskeys will try to make untenable connections to Kentucky but Still Austin Whiskey Co. is OK standing on its own two-whiskey loving feet.

Also, watch out. I had this sense when I tasted Wilderness Trail’s whiskey for the first time that with a few more years their whiskey would be in the phenomenal range and Still Austin gives me that same vibe. I hope they are planning to release further aged whiskeys in the future. I can’t imagine what a 4 or even 6-year-old whiskey might taste like from Still Austin. Bravo to their team for crafting something delicious.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.
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