Still Austin Whiskey Co., Austin’s homegrown distillery, has re-released its signature American Gin, the first rye gin made in the Lone Star State, with all-new branding, featuring a new custom label by internationally acclaimed artist and native Texan Marc Burckhardt. The 100 percent handmade grain-to-glass gin only uses grains provided by Texas farmers and is milled and distilled locally in South Austin. The end result is a perfectly balanced gin bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV).
Still Austin commissioned Burckhardt to paint a series of portraits of “idealized” Austinites. These are visual representations of archetypes, a way of conceiving a “new Austin mythology” by celebrating the innovative people who make the city what it is. Each portrait provides a sense of the people who have influenced and inspired the Still Austin team, while paying homage to the Texas terroir.
The first label in the series was released last July on the distillery’s straight bourbon whiskey and featured “The Musician,” which pays homage to the “Live Music Capital of the World.” The American Gin, also known as “The Naturalist,” is the second in the series. “The woman in the picture is content: surrounded by lush landscape, inspired by majestic beauty and satiated with the Earth’s raw treasures, including the spirit’s multitude of botanicals hidden among the verdant surroundings.”
The gin is made from a custom base of 70 percent Brasetto rye and 30 percent non-GMO white corn from Texas farmers. The spirit is then milled and distilled in-house in small 100-gallon batches in a copper pot still, “The Queen”. It’s here that the distilled base spirit absorbs the various gin botanicals, including organic juniper berries, coriander seeds, cinnamon, citrus peels, elderflowers and allspice berries, while passing through the distillery’s 42-foot-tall custom column still, “Nancy”.
The result is a perfectly balanced gin bottled at 90 proof (45 percent ABV), which features an “initial brightness, creamy mouthfeel, soft floral and citrus notes, an earthy character, rye spice and a warm finish”.
“For The Naturalist, we make a custom, in-house base distilled at a lower ABV than your traditional grain neutral spirit,” said John Schrepel, Head Distiller. “The result is an approachable gin with structure and nuance that highlights 12 botanicals, which complement the unique rye base and create a well-rounded, complex experience.”
In the words of Master Blender Nancy Fraley, who’s famous for her peerless ability to detect flavor notes, the gin is “exceptionally balanced, beautifully blended, and a pleasure to drink.”
In August of 2020, the New York International Spirits Competition named Still Austin its “Texas Gin Distillery of the Year.” The distilling team is led by Head Distiller John Schrepel, Master Blender Nancy Fraley and veteran Master Distiller Mike Delevante, one of the most experienced and respected distillers in North America who designed the Still Austin distillery to make the highest quality of bourbon.
Still Austin’s gin is available for order online on the Still Austin website. You can also find both 375ml and 750ml bottles at liquor stores across Texas for a suggested retail price of $16 and $32, respectively.
The Outdoor Type
Creator: Jehudiel Barba
1.5 oz “The Naturalist” Still Austin American Gin
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake until very cold and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a quarter moon of fresh grapefruit and a sprig of fresh rosemary.