Review #167 Still Austin Cask Strength
Distillery: Still Austin
Mashbill: 70% Corn, 25% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
BACKGROUND: Still Austin Whiskey Company is the first craft whiskey distillery based out of Austin, TX. Whiskey legend and master blender Nancy Fraley approves every release from the distillery ensuring quality on every product. They are an eco-friendly, sustainable, 100% Texas whiskey distillery who do slow-water reduction during their aging process to produce a unique, authentic whiskey. When they launched the distillery they were not sure what their mashbill would be but tried multiple. As the whiskeys aged, they tried all of the recipes and eventually found their mashbill which they wanted to be their flagship whiskey. That mashbill is 70% Non-GMO white corn (the same found in Austin’s tortillas), 25% Elbon rye (which imparts a natural spice) and 5% wildfire malted barley. In 2020, Still Austin launched "The Musician" straight bourbon, their flagship product. Named in honor of Austin being the Live Music Capital of the World with a thriving local musician scene, "The Musician" has been received warmly by the market as well as by reviewers including ourselves and is bottled at 98.4 proof. They also continue to launch distillery reserve series whiskeys that are always smash hits. We hinted at this release a few weeks back but in the beginning of May, Still Austin announced their newest limited release, a cask strength offering of their whiskey. Master Distiller Nancy Fraley was tasked with tasking through all of their straight bourbon barrels and select the most complex and full flavored ones and ultimately blend them to be released at cask strength. This limited release is available in limited quantity at the distillery or at liquor stores in the central Texas and Austin area.
NOSE: Floral and citrusy is the best way to summarize this nose which is similar to Still Austin's flagship, "The Musician". However, the higher proof on this whiskey makes a difference by deepening the scents and adding a nice fullness to the nose. Up front are those floral and citrus scents of bright cherry, blackberry, and orange zest. Supporting those notes are scents of toasted brown sugar, butterscotch and toasted oak. The added proof really bolstered the nose compared to their flagship 98.4 proof bourbon. (22/25)
PALATE: Where the nose was bright in profile the palate is rich and dark with notes of candied plums, rye spice, roasted pecans, butterscotch, graham cracker, toasted brown sugar, and oak. Towards the back of the palate are notes of vanilla bean, clove, and fresh apple crisp topping crumbles. The notes are all well balanced and blend together forming a delicious, robust, darker sweets flavor profile. (35/40)
FINISH: The finish is full bodied and full of spice. Along with the rye spice notes are notes of all-spice, dry roasted nuts, and barrel char. The finish is slightly dry but very long and enduring. It never burns but adds a warm squeeze from the proof on the back on the tongue. (22/25)
VALUE: Still Austin's Cask Strength bourbon has an SRP of $65 which is a really fair price on this flavorful cask strength, grain-to-glass, limited bourbon. (8/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another great release from Still Austin! This cask strength offering is smooth, delicious, has tons of character and flavor, and really enhances their flagship products flavor profile while coming in at a great price point. Still Austin is still a younger distillery building and producing their flagship product but as they get a surplus I can't wait to see how their whiskey tastes at cask strength and at an age statement between 6 - 10 years as their distillery reserve releases and this cask strength show signs and characteristics of perfection at the right age. We recommend this whiskey to all those who like cask strength whiskeys with darker notes.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof A121
Similar & Equal Whiskey: Old Ezra 7
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!
96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods
90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey
85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this
80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there
75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf
70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this
60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers
50-59: Not my cup of tea
Below 50: Give away