Still Austin Tour Review

Still Austin Whiskey Co., located in South Austin, Texas, offers a unique distillery experience with their “grain to glass” approach using locally grown grains. The distillery uses two stills, named Nancy and The Queen, and a unique aging process utilizing “Élevage” or "Slow Water Reduction". Read on to learn all about it!
Still Austin Whiskey Co.
440 East St. Elmo Road
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 276-2700
info@stillaustin.com
https://www.stillaustin.com
Distillery Tour / Review

Please enjoy our Still Austin Distillery Tour Review!

A Texas Grain To Glass Distillery

The Still Austin Whiskey Co. is located in South Austin, Texas in a uniquely repurposed warehouse district.  Distilling since 2017, all of their spirits are crafted using Texas-grown grains with a “grain to glass” approach.  At the time of our visit, Still Austin produced a bourbon, gin, and a white dog or “New Make”. Since that time, they now also have a rye whiskey, cask strength and single barrel versions of their bourbon, as well as multiple limited releases using heirloom and specialty grains. 

Our First Visit Was In January 2020

Our first visit to the Still Austin Whiskey Co was back in January 2020, right before the world shut down. We met our tour guide, Josh, inside the cocktail bar-tasting room, and we were eager to learn more about Still Austin’s methods. After introductions, we headed outside where Josh began the tour with a discussion regarding the grains used.  All grains are locally grown. Corn, wheat, and rye, are each stored in one of three very large silos at the front of the distillery entrance. All grains are then milled on-site (the mill house is just behind the silos) before being transferred inside to the cooker.

Beer Well
Beer Well – Still Austin Tour Review
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The Still Austin Whiskey Co Process

Approximately 4,400 pounds of grain is used for each cook, of which there were two each day. There could be more now, being that its four years later. After the cook, the mash is transferred to one of the nearby 1800 gallon fermenters. Average fermentation time is around 3 days, after which the distiller’s beer has an alcohol content of around 10% ABV. Then it is off to the stills. 

Fermenters
Fermenters
Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

The Stills
Nancy - Column Still - Still Austin Whiskey Co Tour Review
Column Still – Nancy – Still Austin Whiskey Co Tour Review

For the bourbon, there is the 42 foot column still (Nancy) made by Forsyths in Scotland. There are some great photos on the Still Austin’s Instagram page showing her journey from the docks of Scotland to her permanent resting place in the still tower of the distillery, by crane. Nancy is also used for the initial distillation of the gin. The second still (The Queen) is a hybrid pot-4 plate column still manufactured by Corson, and is used as a finishing still for the gin and experimental batches. Interesting to note is that the stills are named after women, while the fermenters are named after men.

Small Hybrid Still - Still Austin Whiskey Co Tour Review
Small Hybrid Still
Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

Barreling

Following distillation, the whiskey is barreled on site in toasted, char 3 barrels crafted at the Independent Stave Company (ISC) in Lebanon, Kentucky. After distillation, the new make enters the barrels at 118 proof. The barrels are then transferred to their warehouse home in the Texas Hill Country for aging. The “stillage”, the grain mixture left after distillation, is then sent back to local farmers to feed their livestock.

Aging, Élevage and Slow Water Reduction

Still Austin Whiskey Co. performs a very unique process during the aging of its bourbon. Referred to as “Élevage”, a small amount of water is added during each month of aging to gradually proof down the bourbon and accentuate its interaction with the wood. According to their website, “This meticulous technique brings forth the different flavor components derivable from oak, resulting in layer upon layer of depth and character, and “raising” the rye to its full potential.” A more recent video on their website refers to the process as “slow water reduction”. Once aging is complete, which is currently approximately 2 1/2 years for their flagship bourbon, the bourbon returns to the distillery, where it is bottled and packed by hand.

The Tasting

Our tour wrapped up with a tasting of all three Still Austin products, the bourbon, gin, and new make. As of June 2024, the “Distillery Tour & Tasting” includes tastes of:

“The Musician” Straight Bourbon
“The Naturalist” American Gin
“The Artist” Straight Rye
Cask Strength Bourbon or Cask Strength Rye

Tour, Sip and/or Eat

Visitors can opt to tour the distillery, or just enjoy some of their tasty beverages. The distillery is closed on Mondays. For hours and tour time availability, you’ll want to visit  stillaustin.com.  A few different tour options are available and reservations can be made online. The tasting bar inside the distillery has ample seating, or weather permitting, the patio also makes for a very pleasant atmosphere. When we visited, the food truck, Pairings, was a permanent fixture on the patio. The sandwiches were excellent and by itself, worth a visit to the distillery. Now, the food truck is Huckleberry!, which we have yet to try.

Patio & Food Truck - Still Austin Whiskey Co Tour Review
Patio & Food Truck – Still Austin Whiskey Co
Conclusion – Still Austin Whiskey Co Tour Review

Whether you’re a whiskey geek, a cocktail connoisseur, or a foodie fanatic, make it a point to visit Still Austin Whiskey Co. when you are in the Austin area!


We hope you have enjoyed our Still Austin Distillery Tour Review!

Date of first visit: January 2020. Updated June 2024

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