Still Austin Limited Release Single Barrels|
Coming off a fantastic release with their Red Corn Bottled-in-Bond, today we have two new special barrels from Still Austin. When looking for new brands/distillers I have a few tools that I use. The most reliable is to follow whatever distillery Nancy Fraley consults for. If you're unfamiliar with her work I suggest you listen to her Bourbon Pursuit episode. She's an incredible blender. She's the inspiration for a lot of the blending education we do at Seelbach's. Nancy is the master blender at Still Austin.
What got me excited about Still Austin was their use of the slow water reduction process. This is done in brandy or rum. Instead of waiting until a barrel is dumped to proof it down, Still Austin slowly adds water to the barrels over many years. This process allows the more subtle flavors to remain intact. It also increases the extraction of caramel and vanilla notes. These compounds are more soluble in water. There's a lot of other science to behind this method but I'll save it for another day. The tasting notes on these barrels reinforce this practice.
Barrel #20200206-4 has a nose that is thick and sweet: think buttered toffee, maple cookies, vanilla pudding, Christmas spices, and toasted oak.
The palate follows suit with great viscosity: dense caramel, espresso, vanilla pudding, browned butter, and a slightly floral/cinnamon spice.
The finish lingers with oak and charred wood, dried fruits and a bit of berry mixed in with the more desserty qualities.
Barrel #20200514-4 is a bit more spice forward. The nose is bright with orange peel, mixed berries, and pecan pie crust and filling before a softer maple trailing.
The palate immediately coats every part of the gums, saturated with cooked fruits, spiced cola, dark chocolate, and a plethora of clove, cinnamon, and herbal spiciness dancing on the tongue.
The finish is long and trailing, definitely spiced but never forgetting the brown sugar, caramel, and toasted wood throughout.